Peripheral Arterial Disease
Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) is commonly known as a collection of diseases of the circulatory system that affects blood vessels. One of the most common types of PVD is Peripheral Arterial Disease.
Peripheral Arterial Disease, also referred to as PAD, is a condition when plaque build-up causes a narrowing or blockage of the blood vessels. The plaque can harden in a process called atherosclerosis, reducing blood flow to the limbs.
PAD can occur in any blood vessel throughout the body, though it typically affects the legs, ankles, and feet. With reduced blood flow due to PAD, patients may experience uncomfortable symptoms such as leg pain while walking, pain at rest, reduced pulse, and skin temperature changes.
Over time, PAD can significantly affect a patient’s mobility and quality of life. Those with PAD are more susceptible to stroke and heart attack. The advanced stage of PAD is called Critical Limb Ischemia (CLI). CLI can result in severe health complications, non-healing wounds, and potentially limb atrophy.
Risk Factors & Symptoms of PAD
Peripheral Arterial Disease affects approximately 8.5 million people in the United States. About 12-20 percent of people with PAD are over 60 years of age. Besides age, other risk factors associated with PAD are smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney failure, obesity, and history of stroke or heart disease.
Some patients with PAD experience mild to no symptoms, while others may experience a multitude of symptoms. PAD symptoms include:
- Claudication – pain or heaviness in the legs while walking or exercising.
- Pain at Rest – pain in the legs when at rest.
- Pulse Change – a reduction or absence of a pulse in the ankle or foot.
- Temperature Changes – skin may feel cooler in one limb compared to the other.
- Non-Healing Wounds – sores, ulcers, or wounds on legs, feet, or toes that heal slowly or not at all.
Diagnosis of PAD
If you believe you may have Peripheral Arterial Disease, it is crucial to receive a proper diagnosis. At PA Vascular Institute, we may perform one or more of the following tests:
- Ankle-brachial Index – This non-invasive test measures blood pressure and flow. This test can be done during rest or while exercising on a treadmill.
- Duplex Ultrasound – By using sound waves, a color map of the blood vessels are created in order to examine blood flow in the legs.
- Angiography – Computed tomography angiography (CTA) is used to visualize arterial and venous vessels. Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) uses magnetic waves and radio energy to locate and measure the severity of blocked blood vessels.
- Intravascular Ultrasound (IVUS) – This special imaging device uses a small catheter to measure plaque build-up in the arteries.
At PA Vascular Institute, we serve patients in King of Prussia, Lehigh Valley, Philadelphia, PA. Contact us today to have our experienced doctors provide you with a proper PAD diagnosis and help you explore your treatment options.
Treatments for PAD
The doctors at PA Vascular Institute are specialized in the treatment of Peripheral Arterial Disease. With cutting-edge technology, we provide a long-term fix to the problem with innovative procedures that will get you back on your feet in no time. Here are some of the treatment options we provide:
Angioplasty and Stenting
Angioplasty uses a catheter, or thin tube, to open the narrowed or blocked arteries by inserting a balloon into the artery. The balloon is inflated as to push the hardened plaque and a stent, or small meshed tube, may be inserted to maintain the opening of the blood vessel. The purpose of this procedure is to restore blood flow through the arteries.
Atherectomy uses a small catheter to shave or cut off plaque from the blocked artery. Pieces of plaque will then be removed by the catheter or through the bloodstream. This procedure results in increased blood flow to the peripheral tissue.
To receive state-of-the-art treatment for PAD or other PVD problems in Philadelphia, Lehigh Valley, or King of Prussia, PA, contact PA Vascular Institute.