What is Peripheral Arterial Disease?
Peripheral Arterial Disease (P.A.D.) is a condition in which the arteries that carry blood to the arms or legs become narrowed or clogged, interfering with normal flow of the blood.
Risk Factors for Developing P.A.D.
Most patients who have peripheral artery disease have one or more conditions or habits that raise the risk for heart disease:
- History of smoking
- Over the age of 50
- Chronic kidney disease
- High cholesterol
Symptoms of P.A.D.
Look for these symptoms in your legs and/or feet:
- Numbness and/or tingling
- Heaviness and/or fatigue
- Pain and/or discomfort
- Non-healing wounds or ulcers
How We Diagnose Peripheral Artery Disease
If you think you have P.A.D., the first step is to schedule a venous consult. We will conduct diagnostic tests to determine the blood pressure in your legs.
The initial diagnostic tests for PAD 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 we receive abnormal results from the initial diagnostic testing, our doctors may perform an angiography, which is an x-ray of the arteries. This examination is conducted in our outpatient center.
At the Heart Vascular & Leg
, our goal is to treat P.A.D. quickly and conveniently in an outpatient setting. Our doctors will develop a treatment plan to reduce painful symptoms, improve your quality of life, increase mobility, and prevent heart attack, stroke or limb loss.
For most patients, a combination of one or more approaches will yield the best results. These include making lifestyle changes, medication, and interventional procedures.
If you are diagnosed with P.A.D. the most important thing you can do is quit smoking. Next, adopt a healthy diet and work with your primary care physician to reduce high blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose levels. Exercise is another important step to decrease the risk of developing P.A.D.
Our team of specialist may prescribe to you one or more medications which can be used to lower high blood pressure, prevent formation of blood clots and reduce leg pain when walking.
Intervention / Surgical Procedures
We specialize in minimally invasive procedures to open the arteries and improve blood flow. These procedures include:
- Laser Atherectomy – A technique which reestablishes blood flow through narrowed or blocked arteries. The laser is used during angiographic procedures with minimally invasive techniques.
- Angioplasty – This technique is used to open blocked arteries by inflation of a balloon catheter. This technique is also utilized in the angiography suite, frequently in conjunction with both the laser atherectomy and stenting.
- Stenting – The doctor will insert a cylindrical, metal wire, mesh tube into the artery in order to keep the blood flow channel open. This technique is often combined with the laser atherectomy and angioplasty.