FAQ: Peripheral Arterial Disease
Peripheral artery disease, or PAD, is a condition that causes the narrowing of blood vessels in your limbs. Signs and symptoms include numbness or pain in the feet with walking as well as skin discoloration between toes on one foot without any other signs of injury to explain it. Peripheral Artery Disease has many questions surrounding its cause and best treatment options.
If there’s something on your mind or if you can’t find what it is that you need for peripheral arterial disease online, give us a call at 713-999-6056. Coastal Vascular Center is always happy to answer your questions.
What causes peripheral artery disease?
PAD may sound like a debilitating and scary condition, but there are some simple solutions. Atherosclerosis cause peripheral arterial disease. This is the gradual buildup of fatty material in your arteries that limits blood flow throughout your body. Out-patient interventional radiology can remove this material from around artery walls to restore proper blood circulation back to areas such as the legs or feet.
What are the symptoms of peripheral artery disease?
Peripheral Artery Disease is one of the leading causes for strokes and amputations in those over 65. Symptoms can include pain, cramps, numbness or tingling sensations to name a few. These symptoms are easily overlooked if attributed to other diseases like arthritis or old age but nevertheless may cause significant problems down the road including stroke and limb loss as it silently damages your cardiovascular system under its plaque burden. African Americans also have higher rates of peripheral artery disease with Native American populations being among some most at risk groups.
What are the risk factors of peripheral artery disease?
Common risk factors of peripheral artery disease include:
- Having any wounds or ulcers on the foot or leg
- Having a history of smoking
- Having a history of hypertension
- Feeling resting leg or foot pain
- One foot feeling colder than the other
- High cholesterol
- History of a heart attack or stent
- Being over the age of 65
You can learn more about PAD Risk factors here
What is PAD?
“PAD” stands for Peripheral Artery Disease. It is caused by narrowing or blockage of blood flow to the lower extremities. Claudication, which means pain or cramping in the leg that is induced by exercising, can occur when a person has PAD. Left untreated, leg pain, discoloration of the skin, and sores can occur because of the lack of blood flow. It is important to see a doctor if you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with Peripheral Artery Disease. This disease is also known as Peripheral Vascular Disease or PVD.
When should I see a doctor about PAD?
If you have symptoms of PAD or fall into a higher risk group, we recommend that you come in for an evaluation. In its advanced form, patients with PAD may suffer from non-healing wounds which can increase the chance of infection and amputation. After an amputation, there is a 5-year mortality rate 50%. However, HALF OF THE AMPUTATIONS CAN BE PREVENTABLE BY EARLY DETECTION WHICH IS CRITICAL AND LIFESAVING IN SOME CASES!
Why get an evaluation for peripheral artery disease?
Peripheral artery disease symptoms can range from subtle, like intermittent pain while walking, to more pronounced such as resting leg pain. Early intervention is critical in improving long-term outcomes because the consultation process itself is simple and covered by most insurances. If you have any of these symptoms or are at a higher risk for PAD, make sure that your first step towards recovery starts with one visit!
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) manifests through various types of signs but they all share similar characteristics: it’s typically gradual onset; rest related complaints may be present; there will often be some degree of discoloration on the skin overlying affected areas usually involving both feet and lower legs