Critical Limb Ischemia2018-02-18T23:12:44+00:00

Critical Limb Ischemia (CLI) is a severe condition associated with Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD). With CLI, there is a severe obstruction in the arteries which reduces blood flow to the lower limbs, causing severe pain and ulcers. Treatment is necessary to restore proper blood flow and avoid further complications such as blood clots, amputation or cardiovascular conditions.

Critical Limb Ischemia Bakersfield CA

Risk Factors for Critical Limb Ischemia

Critical Limb Ischemia Bakersfield CACLI is an advanced stage of peripheral artery disease (PAD) and the result of a progressive build up of plaque in the arteries (atherosclerosis). Over time, the plaque hardens, narrowing or blocking blood flow. Risk factors for critical limb ischemia include:

  • Age (men over 60 and women after menopause)
  • History of Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Overweight or obesity
  • Lack of daily exercise
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Family history of vascular disease

Symptoms of Critical Limb Ischemia

Patients with CLI commonly experience:

  • Pain and/or numbness in the legs when at rest. Pain is often alleviated by standing or walking.
  • A noticeable decrease in the temperature of your lower leg or foot compared to the rest of your body.
  • Foot ulcers or sores that are slow to heal.
  • Gangrene
  • Shiny, smooth, dry skin in the legs or feet/
  • Thickening of the toenails.

Diagnosis for Critical Limb Ischemia

The process for diagnosing CLI is the same as our process for diagnosing Peripheral Arterial Disease. The first step is a venous consult. We will conduct diagnostic tests to determine the blood pressure in your legs.

The initial diagnostic tests for CLI are quick, painless and non-invasive. Typically, the first test is an ankle brachial index (ABI), which involves placing blood pressure cuffs on the arms and legs to compare the blood pressure of each.

Our doctors may also perform an ultrasound examination, to evaluate your arterial system. This test allows us to see the speed, direction and force of blood flow in the vessels.

If a blockage is detected, our doctors may perform an angiography, which is an x-ray of the arteries. This examination is conducted in our outpatient center.

Treatment for Critical Limb Ischemia

Prompt treatment for CLI is necessary to avoid amputation and re-establish healthy blood flow. Our doctors will evaluate your condition and develop a personalized treatment plan to alleviate painful symptoms and improve your blood flow. Our top priority is to preserve the limb and improve mobility.

Medication
We may work with your primary care physician to prescribe a medication that will reduce the contributing factors to CLI such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Medications that prevent blood clots may also be effective.

Endovascular Treatments
At Vascular & Leg Center, we specialize in minimally invasive treatments that are completed in our office. Common treatments for CLI include:

  • Angioplasty
  • Stenting
  • Laser Atherectomy

If endovascular therapy is not effective, the doctor may recommend bypass surgery to reroute blood flow in the legs.