- September 9, 2020
- Posted by: cmcdonald
- Category: Peripheral Artery Disease
What are the risk factors of Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), and can it lead to other health issues?
There are essentially four risk factors for Peripheral Arterial Disease. One that you can’t modify is just your genetics. If you have a strong family history of Peripheral Arterial Disease, then it’s worth considering whether or not you may be affected as well.
The three modifiable risk factors are high blood pressure, diabetes, and smoking.
Smoking is a very modifiable risk factor — difficult for many people to quit, but it is the easiest thing and the most comprehensive thing you can do to improve your potential risk for Peripheral Arterial Disease as well as other diseases of the heart, kidneys, and brain.
High blood pressure can be well controlled with medicines. If you can maintain normal healthy blood pressure, that will decrease the damage to your arteries in the long term.
Diabetes, again, is another damaging disease for the blood vessels. Good sugar control for diabetes is important for long-term management.
How can American Endovascular help with the treatment of Peripheral Arterial Disease?
We are involved in all aspects of Peripheral Arterial Disease, both in diagnosis and treatment. For patients who are suspected of Peripheral Arterial Disease, we would like them to come in and be seen by one of our physicians and determine if they have signs and symptoms of Peripheral Arterial Disease. These can then be confirmed with ultrasound tests to confirm the presence or absence of Peripheral Arterial Disease.
Once we’ve established the diagnosis, we are experts in the management of Peripheral Arterial Disease through endovascular techniques. These are techniques that are not open surgery. By going through the existing arteries, we can open them up either by removing the cholesterol plaque, opening them with balloons, or sometimes even placing stents to hold open the arteries and to maintain blood supply to your legs to keep them pain-free and healthy and reduce the risk of amputation in the future.
September is PAD Awareness Month. What do you feel is most important for patients to understand about PAD?
September is Peripheral Arterial Disease Awareness Month, and many patients and even physicians have not essentially heard of Peripheral Arterial Disease. It is far under-diagnosed in the community, and many primary care physicians have not been trained in the signs and symptoms of Peripheral Arterial Disease.
It’s estimated that greater than 60% of cases go undiagnosed, and therefore it’s important for you sometimes to take your care in your own hands. If you have pain in your legs or pain at rest at night, when walking or other issues with your legs or open sores on your legs that just won’t heal up, that’s a sign of Peripheral Arterial Disease and you should get screened.
Why is it important to get a PAD screening?
We are experts in the diagnosis and management of Peripheral Arterial Disease, which is important to know because it also can be a sign and symptom of other diseases in your body. Peripheral Arterial Disease is clogging of the arteries to your legs primarily, but it can also affect other organs in your body, including your kidneys, your heart, your brain. Therefore the diagnosis in one area would lead to an investigation of other areas that can also be very serious, increasing the risk of strokes, heart attacks, or other problems in the body.
Since it’s important to be screened for Peripheral Arterial Disease, we’re happy to be offering free screenings at American Endovascular in Fishkill, New York, during the month of September, which is PAD Awareness Month. We’re hoping that this makes it easy for patients to be able to be seen and get a diagnosis of Peripheral Arterial Disease in a timely fashion.