Peripheral Artery Disease, explained
Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is a circulatory system condition caused by the gradual buildup of cholesterol plaque in the arteries. Though PAD can occur anywhere in the endovascular system, it is most frequently found in the legs.
Over time, the accumulation of plaque—a combination of cholesterol, fat, calcium, and other substances coursing through the bloodstream—on the walls of the arteries can cause them to narrow. As a result, it becomes more difficult for blood to freely flow to the legs and feet. Often patients who have arterial disease have a much higher risk of developing serious health problems including heart attack, stroke, or even amputation.
Peripheral Artery Disease is common and treatable. The key is recognizing the warning signs so it can be treated early before it progresses.
Schedule an endovascular study with an American Endovascular affiliated physician for a PAD diagnosis, to ensure it does not hinder your long-term health and quality of life.
Plaque buildup along the walls of these arteries can lead to PAD.
What are the symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease?
- Muscle pain and cramping—The most common symptom, often occurring in the calf, buttocks, or thigh. Patients with PAD can experience leg pain while walking or during exercise. The pain may temporarily go away when the muscles are at rest.
- Non-healing wounds—Most often found on the toes and feet.
- Diabetic foot ulcers—Approximately half of all diabetic patients have PAD.
- Discomfort in feet and legs—This includes coldness, numbness, or a feeling of heaviness.
- Change in leg appearance—This can include hair loss, slow hair growth, a change in leg color, or excessively shiny skin.
Please note: In the early stages, PAD can present no symptoms at all. Which is why it is important to schedule an endovascular consultation with an American Endovascular affiliated physician who can conduct a thorough examination to assess whether you’re currently suffering from PAD, or at risk in the future.
What are the risk factors of Peripheral Artery Disease?
- Smoking—This is the number one contributor to PAD.
- Age—Adults over 50 tend to be more at risk.
- Diabetes—Affects women more than men. But studies show that one out of every three adults over 50 with diabetes is likely to have PAD.
- High blood pressure/cholesterol—Both can contribute to plaque buildup.
- Medical history—People with a history of heart disease, or who have suffered a heart attack or stroke are at higher risk of PAD.
- Obesity—The Journal of the American Heart Association found that the obese are 1.5 more likely to develop PAD.
- Kidney disease—Studies show that patients with chronic kidney disease are at a higher risk of PAD due to additional risk factors imposed by kidney diseases such as hypoalbuminemia and chronic inflammation.
African Americans have approximately twice the risk of PAD as Caucasians or Asian Americans. 18% of the Medicare population has PAD and the majority have NO Symptoms. 66% of all PAD patients have NO Symptoms*. That is why non-invasive testing is so important.
*Criqui, M., Langer, R., Fronek, A., Feigelson, H., Klauber, M., McCann, T., & Browner, D. (1992). Mortality over a Period of 10 Years in Patients with Peripheral Artery Disease. New England Journal Of Medicine, 326(6), 381-386.
Conditions We Treat
How the American Endovascular affiliated team of physicians can help treat Peripheral Artery Disease
If you or someone you know may be suffering from Peripheral Artery Disease, it is critically important to be evaluated by a medical professional. The American Endovascular affiliated team of physicians is at the forefront of the detection and treatment of PAD. Our array of non-surgical, minimally invasive treatment options can restore blood flow and get you on the road to a healthier, happier life.
Breakthrough Treatment Options
In just the last five years, the treatment of PAD has taken a great leap forward. The new endovascular therapies and technologies available can provide significant improvement in the lives of those living with PAD. The American Endovascular affiliated team of physicians has a proven track record of success at preventing the progression of PAD. They save the limbs that others can’t.
Their non-surgical, minimally invasive treatment options include:
- Atherectomy—This procedure has evolved with cutting edge advances including orbital, rotational, and diamond-coated surfaces technology as well as a laser to remove or modify plaque from a clogged blood vessel. The catheter is inserted via a minimally invasive incision in the artery. Atherectomy is particularly useful for treating arteries or blood vessels that are not easily treated with stents.
- Angioplasty— Angioplasty uses a low profile catheter with an inflatable balloon to stretch the affected artery open. The balloon is used to stretch the affected artery open, restoring blood flow.
- Stent– A host of different metallic based implantable devices will be inserted into the artery to provide a new skeletal framework to strengthen the walls and help it remain open. Some of the stents may have drug eluding properties to prevent blood clotting and increase longevity. In certain circumstances, some stents may have woven mesh or a covered wall to increase longevity and durability.
- Thrombectomy—Thrombectomy is used to treat blood clots that block blood flow. The procedure entails a catheter inserted through a nearby artery in order to vaporize or extract the clot.
- Minimally invasive; non-surgical
- No hospital
- Streamlined Care
- Convenient Scheduling
- Same Day Procedure
Over the last 5 years there have been dramatic advancements in technology that have allowed these procedures to be performed safely and effectively in an outpatient setting versus in the hospital. Many medical companies are producing minimally invasive, non surgical technology which only requires a small hole to gain entry to the artery & veins.
Major incisions are no longer necessary or needed. This has created many benefits to the patient and health care system overall including: non surgical options, less recovery, less pain, less costly, performed in an outpatient setting therefore eliminating the need for the hospital, less hospital induced infections, and increased convenience.