According to the CDC, 8.5 million people throughout the United States suffer from peripheral artery disease. At Vascular Health Center, we offer peripheral artery disease treatments that may help you restore your health and return to a better state of comfort.

What Is Peripheral Artery Disease?

Over time, fatty deposits build up in your arteries. In some cases, they become large enough to restrict blood flow to the legs. When this happens, Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) develops.

peripheral artery disease

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Signs of Peripheral Artery Disease

Many people don’t experience any signs of peripheral artery disease. If they do, the following PAD symptoms are common:

  • A painful ache in the legs upon walking. This disappears after a few minutes of resting and is called intermittent claudication.
  • Hair loss on the legs and feet
  • An increase in diabetic leg ulcers
  • Numbness and weakness in the legs
  • The toes on the affected leg become brittle
  • Ulcers that won’t heal
  • The skin on the legs turns purple or blue
  • The skin on the legs becomes shiny
  • The muscles in the legs start to shrink
  • Men may experience erectile dysfunction

You may only experience a few of the peripheral artery disease symptoms. Some of them become apparent as the condition worsens. For example, discolored skin and non-healing ulcers are signs of advanced disease.

peripheral artery disease treatment

Peripheral Artery Disease Causes

Certain conditions increase your risk of PAD.

Common peripheral artery disease causes include:

  • A previous atherosclerosis diagnosis (fatty deposits building on the blood vessel walls)
  • Smoking
  • Hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol)
  • High blood pressure
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Type 2 diabetes

What Are Your Peripheral Artery Disease Treatment Options?

PAD treatments range between mild medical interventions and surgical approaches. Common medical PAD disease treatments include:

  • Managing your blood pressure
  • Managing your diabetes
  • Losing weight
  • Taking cholesterol-lowering medications such as statins
  • Taking medications such as cilostazol to maintain blood flow around the legs

When a conservative approach to peripheral artery disease isn’t working, you can consider PAD surgery. At Vascular Health Center, our peripheral artery disease doctor uses balloon angioplasty and stents.

Click to hear Dr Nwobi explains about the PAD and the most effective treatment

Dr. Nwobi typically treats PAD with a minimally invasive in-office
procedure, such as atherectomy, angioplasty, and stenting

Balloon Angioplasty

Using an image-guided technique, your peripheral artery disease doctor will place a small catheter inside the affected artery. They’ll then insert a small balloon and inflate it with the aim of promoting better blood flow.

Stent Placements

An alternative to balloon angioplasty is placing a stent. Using the same image-guided technique, your doctor will place a small mesh stent to improve the blood flow in the affected artery.

How Your Peripheral Artery Disease Diagnosis Works

peripheral artery disease testEffective PAD screening involves a combination of asking you about your symptoms, examining your leg(s), and using imaging modalities such as doppler ultrasounds. We’ll spend about 15 minutes asking you about your PAD symptoms. Our team uses industry-renowned classifications to measure how advanced we believe your PAD is based on your mobility and how much pain you’re experiencing when walking.

In addition to asking you about your PAD symptoms, we’ll use the following approaches:

  • We’ll feel for pulses throughout your legs as a reduced pulse is one of the most common symptoms of PAD in legs.
  • We’ll also assess the color, temperature, and appearance of your legs and feet.
  • Your peripheral artery disease doctor will look for ulcers.
  • We may need to conduct tests such as an ankle-brachial index to further measure blood flow and a Doppler ultrasound.

After your PAD screening, you’ll meet with one of our physicians or a nurse practitioner to discuss the results. From there, we’ll make recommendations regarding your treatment.

The Risks of Not Seeking PAD Treatment

Peripheral artery disease isn’t a condition you should ignore. Some of the risks associated with not seeking treatment include:

Stroke or Heart Attack

As your peripheral artery disease progresses, the blood clots in your legs begin to thicken. While the blood clots can clog your legs, they can also break away. When this happens, there’s a risk that they will travel to one of the arteries serving your brain or heart, resulting in a stroke or heart attack.

Critical Limb Ischemia

Your legs rely on smooth blood flow to serve them with oxygen. Although your tissues can survive for a small amount of time without it, eventually they begin to die off. If a bacterial infection settles in, you may develop critical limb ischemia. In some cases, this results in leg amputation.

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