Learn about Peripheral Artery Disease and the treatment options available in Pearland, Texas. PAD is a chronic circulatory condition that if left untreated can result in unnecessary limb amputations. This affects 18 million US citizens nationwide. Hundreds of thousands go untreated and sadly have amputations that could have been prevented.
By increasing Peripheral Artery Disease awareness and the treatment options available in Pearland. Coastal Vascular Center hopes to improve access for PAD screenings. Research studies show that this is a way of improving quality of life. Screenings also help reduce care costs by detecting problems before they arise. Therefore, people can get treated sooner rather than later when it’s easier on their pocketbook!
Education and Prevention
Coastal Vascular Center encourages members of the vascular care community including physicians, clinicians and patient advocates to use the tools below to spread the word about PAD Awareness. Together, we can increase understanding of vascular disease to improve the health of many Americans.
- What is Peripheral Artery Disease?
- Are You at Risk for PAD?
- What are Your PAD Treatment Options?
- Contact an Experienced Vascular Specialist.
Peripheral artery disease (PAD), is a condition where the vessels carrying blood from your heart to your legs get narrowed or blocked. This can cause pain in one’s feet and lower leg. This may not go away unless treated with medication for Peripheral Arterial Disease. These medications could be Nitrates. They are known to relax and smooth muscle cells inside arteries supplying those areas of our bodies. Sometimes there are warning signs before you develop full blown PAD. Sings such as intermittent sense of heaviness when walking up stairs. These symptoms should never be ignored since this could lead into more serious health issues such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). If possible try exercising regularly. Exercising least 3 times per week because it helps keep weight off during
Risk Factors for PAD
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol
- family history
- Age 60 and above
Common Symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease
Blockages can restrict blood flow to the muscles, causing muscle cramps, tightness or weakness, especially during activity. In the early stages of PAD, patients may not experience any symptoms. If PAD is not treated, though, blockages may continue to grow and restrict, or even completely block, blood flow. Symptoms may include:
- Leg pain when walking
- Muscle pain or cramping in legs and calf triggered by activity leg numbness or weakness
- Coldness on lower leg or foot
- Arterial Ulcers
- Skin Changing Color or Gangrene
How is peripheral artery disease diagnosed?
There are several ways peripheral vascular disease can be diagnosed. If you suspect having the disease see a doctor immediately. During the checkup the doctor will initially check the patient’s legs using one of, or a combination of tests.
- Ankle-brachial index – the most common test for PAD, it is a test that compares the blood pressure in the ankle with the blood pressure in the arm.
- Ultrasound scan, angiography, and blood tests – may also be recommended to check levels of cholesterol, homocysteine, and C-reactive protein.
- Doppler and ultrasound (Duplex) imaging – a non-invasive method that visualizes the artery with sound waves and measures the blood flow in an artery to indicate the presence of a blockage.
- Computed tomographic angiography (CT) – another non-invasive test that images the arteries of a patient’s abdomen, pelvis, and legs. This test is particularly useful in patients with pacemakers or stents.
- Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) – gives similar information to that generated by a CT scan, but without the need for X-rays.
- Angiography – this is normally reserved for use in conjunction with vascular treatment procedures. During an angiogram, a contrast agent is injected into the artery and X-rays are taken to show blood flow and to pinpoint any blockages that may be present.
Undiagnosed or untreated PAD can be dangerous. It can lead to painful symptoms, loss of a leg, increased risk of coronary artery disease. Additionally it could lead to carotid atherosclerosis (a narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the brain).
Because people with PAD have an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, the American Heart Association encourages people at risk to discuss PAD with their doctor to ensure early diagnosis and treatment.
How is PAD treated?
In order to salvage the limbs, PAD is medically treated with prescribed medications. These medications treat high cholesterol, control blood pressure. As well as, decrease pain while walking in order to increase exercise. They also aim to prevent the buildup of plaque or formation of blood clots.
Peripheral Arterial Disease is also treated using minimally invasive interventional radiology procedures. Angioplasty is when the blocked artery is opened up using a medical balloon, enabling better blood flow. In some cases, the affected arteries need to remain open using a stent, which is a small metal cylinder. This treatment is stenting.
In some cases, PAD may be serious enough that a medical team has no choice but to perform surgery. This may be the only way to remove blockages or create bypasses around the clogged areas.
Can peripheral arterial disease be treated without medical intervention?
If found early enough, PAD may be possible for a patient to treat it with lifestyle changes. This most often entails quitting smoking, undertaking an exercise program, and focusing on a healthy diet. It is important to note that if you believe you may be suffering from PAD, you must see a doctor. This is potentially a limb and life-threatening condition. Your doctor will determine the best course of treatment for you.