All You Need to Know About Peripheral Arterial Disease

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a condition that affects the arteries outside of your heart. PAD can cause pain in your legs when you walk, and in severe cases, it can lead to amputation. But with early diagnosis and treatment, PAD can be managed effectively. Most people suffering from PAD have one or more of the following risk factors: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, and over 60 years old. If you have any of these risk factors, it’s essential to talk to your doctor about screening for PAD. If you notice any symptoms, you need to see a vein doctor specializing in diagnosing and treating peripheral arterial disease in El Paso for treatment.

Causes of PAD

The exact cause of PAD is not known. Researchers suspect that atherosclerosis (plaque buildup) in the arteries supplying blood to the legs plays a significant role. As atherosclerosis narrows your leg arteries, you can develop clots or narrowing (stenosis). If you don’t have enough blood flowing to your tissues, you can develop pain, cramping, and fatigue in your legs when you walk.

The most common risk factors for developing PAD are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, and being over 60 years old.

Symptoms of PAD

The symptoms of PAD can vary from person to person. Some people may not have any symptoms, while others may experience pain, cramping, or fatigue in their legs when they walk. The most common symptom is pain in the calf muscles, but you may also experience pain in your feet, thighs, and buttocks. If you have PAD, you should see a vein doctor specializing in diagnosing and treating peripheral arterial disease in El Paso for treatment.

Diagnosis of PAD

If you’re experiencing PAD symptoms, your doctor will likely run a series of tests before making a diagnosis. The most common test in diagnosing PAD is the Doppler ultrasound, which uses sound waves to measure blood flow in the legs. If the results are abnormal, you may also be sent for further testing with magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), computed tomography (CT) angiography, or an arteriogram.

Treatment for PAD

Once you’ve been diagnosed with PAD, your doctor will discuss treatment options that are right for you. The main treatments for PAD include medications to improve circulation and surgical intervention. Surgical procedures used to treat peripheral arterial disease include angioplasty with stenting, bypass surgery, and endarterectomy.

If you have PAD, it’s essential to see a vein doctor specializing in diagnosing and treating peripheral arterial disease. With early diagnosis and treatment, you can effectively manage your PAD and reduce your complications risk.

Complications of Untreated PAD

If you have untreated PAD, you are at risk of developing tissue or limb loss. When blood flow to your legs becomes severely restricted, the tissue in the affected limb may die. This is called an “ischemic” injury, leading to gangrene. If the infection isn’t treated immediately, the tissue in your leg may have to be surgically removed.

In summary, PAD is a condition that affects the arteries outside of your heart. The leading cause remains unknown, but experts suspect atherosclerosis (plaque buildup) in the arteries supplying blood to the legs as a significant contributor. PAD causes pain, cramping, or fatigue in their legs when they walk. Diagnosis mainly involves the Doppler ultrasound test. The main treatments for PAD include medications to improve circulation and surgical intervention. If left untreated, it can lead to complications such as an “ischemic” injury, leading to gangrene.

Share on:

Leave a Comment