Peripheral Arterial Disease
We are dedicated to providing care for patients with all types and severities of Peripheral Arterial Disease. Read on for additional information about each.
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is one of the most common vascular conditions affecting lower extremities. Usually, the underlying cause of PAD is atherosclerosis, which is also the most common cause of heart attacks and strokes. Atherosclerosis is the condition in which the arteries can get clogged by fatty plaques limiting the blood supply to the extremities or organs.
What are the symptoms of Peripheral Arterial Disease?
- Pain and cramping of calf and thigh muscles after exercising or walking (intermittent claudication)
- Hair loss and changing of the color of the affected leg (shiny skin)
- Coldness in your legs or feet
- Painful sores on your toes and feet that won’t heal
- Hair loss or slower hair growth on your feet and legs
- Slower growth of your toenails
- Erectile dysfunction in men
- In later stages of the disease, pain can be present also at rest
What are the causes of Peripheral Arterial Disease?
- High cholesterol (hyperlipidemia)
- High blood pressure
- Family history of peripheral arterial disease, heart disease or stroke
- High levels of amino acid homocysteine (found in meat).
How is Peripheral Arterial Disease treated?
Angioplasty and stenting
Angioplasty uses an inflatable balloon catheter to open a narrowed vessel. Depending on the size of the plaque, the surgeon performing the procedure may decide to put a stent into the vessels to prevent it from closing up. With time, the blood flow in the affected area will be restored. This is a surgical procedure that is performed in special laboratories or hospitals and requires anesthesia. You may have also had a stent placed.
This includes a number of treatment methods that use special wire/catheter to remove plaques from the affected arteries. The plaques can be scraped, shaved, or cut by special catheter devices. The vascular surgeon will decide which method is more suitable depending on the location and morphology of the plaques. These are surgical procedures that grew in popularity
because of the available novel devices.
What are the complications of the Peripheral Arterial Disease?
- Severe leg ischemia. It starts from developing toe ulcers, which are very painful and difficult to heal. If untreated, this can lead to death of the affected tissue (gangrene). At this point the treatment would be an amputation of the affected segment resulting in various complications.
- Stroke and heart attack. Peripheral arterial disease is a systemic disorder affecting not only the lower extremity vessels but also other vessels in the body including the coronary arteries and vessels of the brain. People diagnosed with peripheral arterial disease have a higher likelihood of having coronary arterial disease that can lead to heart attack. If the
vessels of the brain are affected, this can lead to a stroke.