Peripherial Arterial Disease (PAD)
Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) is a common circulation problem in which the arteries that carry blood to the legs or arms become narrowed or clogged.
This interferes with the normal flow of blood, sometimes causing pain, but often causing no symptoms at all. The most common cause of PAD is atherosclerosis, often called "hardening of the arteries." Atherosclerosis is a gradual process in which cholesterol and scar tissue build up, forming a substance called "plaque" that clogs the blood vessels. In some cases, PAD may be caused by blood clots that lodge in the arteries and restrict blood flow.
If these symptoms are left untreated, this insufficient blood flow will lead tissue death, and eventually, can lead to limb amputation in some patients. In the presence of atherosclerosis, the blood flow channel narrows from the buildup of plaque, preventing blood from passing through as needed, restricting oxygen and other nutrients from getting to normal tissue.
FACT: PAD is a common circulation problem in the arteries of the leg. Over time, these arteries become blocked with plaque, putting you at risk for STROKE, HEART ATTACK, and lower limb/extremity AMPUTATION.
Risk factors play a key role in determining if you’re at risk. Risk factors include:
High Blood Pressure
Signs or Symptoms:
Half of those who suffer from PAD will show NO signs or symptoms. However, signs and symptoms you may experience include the following:
Leg pain that occurs when walking or exercising and disappears when the person stops the activity (also known as claudication).
Numbness and tingling in the lower legs and feet
Coldness in the lower legs and feet
And ulcers or sores on the legs or feet that don't heal.
Erectile Dysfunction (ED)in men
Many people simply live with their pain and do not recognize these as symptoms of PAD. Instead they assume it is a normal part of aging, rather than reporting it to their doctor. It is important to recognize the signs of PAD as early as possible, so proper treatment can be sought.
TAKE ACTION: If you, or anyone you know, might be at risk, don’t wait! PAD is a PROGRESSIVE disease. EndoVascular Health Services can help by offering full service from diagnosis to treatment all within a comfortable OUTPATIENT atmosphere, requiring no overnight/hospital stay!
Peripheral Arterial Disease Treatment
Once you have been diagnosed with PAD, there are several treatment options our specialists will discuss with you. Depending on the severity, your PAD could be controlled by lifestyle changes. Smoking cessation and a structured exercise program are always beneficial in an attempt to alleviate symptoms and prevent further progression of the disease.
Patients with advanced disease might need a minimally invasive procedure. EndoVascular Health Services can perform these procedures in outpatient setting away from the hospital.
Interventional Treatment Options for PAD
Peripheral Angiograms use contrast dye to see the arteries that carry blood to the legs. It is used to look for narrowed or blocked areas in leg arteries that can cause leg pain. During this test, we will thread a small tube into your artery, inject contrast dye, and view the images on a video screen. Then the appropriate intervention will be performed to fix the blockage.
Angioplasty and Stenting
Interventional radiologists pioneered angioplasty and stenting originally performed to treat peripheral arterial disease. Using imaging for guidance, the Interventionalist threads a catheter through the femoral artery in the groin to the blocked artery in the legs. The balloon is then inflated to open the blood vessel where it is narrowed or blocked. In some cases this is then held open with a stent, a tiny metal cylinder. This is a minimally invasive treatment that does not require surgery, just a nick in the skin the size of a pencil tip.
Another type of procedure that is used to treat PAD is an atherectomy. This is the process of debulking vessel plaque to correct problematic stenosis within the vessel lumen. This process can be quite helpful in heavily calcified vessels that have been traditionally difficult to expand with angioplasty balloons and/or stenting alone. Atherectomy differs from angioplasty, by cutting away excess plaque rather than pushing it against the wall of the artery.