What is Peripheral Arterial Disease?
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is the narrowing of blood vessels in the abdomen or legs caused by arterial plaque buildup.
PAD affects as many as 20 million patients in the U.S. each year. Individuals with PAD are at 4–5X higher risk of stroke or heart attack, and severe cases may lead to amputation of affected areas if left untreated.
However, PAD is treatable, especially when caught early. VIS offers minimally invasive, same-day procedures to help relieve symptoms and reduce the risk of further complications. If you are at risk for PAD or are experiencing any symptoms, please schedule a screening to get started.
What Causes PAD?
Peripheral arterial disease is caused by arterial plaque buildup.
Risk factors for PAD include coronary artery disease, tobacco use, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, family history, or a sedentary lifestyle.
Signs & Symptoms
PAD commonly affects the arteries in the lower abdomen or legs, often leading to pain in the hips, buttocks, or legs while walking or, in severe cases, poor wound healing in these areas.
Common signs and symptoms of PAD may include:
- Pain, cramping, or tiredness in the leg or hips while walking or exercising (typically resolves with rest)
- Foot pain when elevated and at rest, usually at night
- Foot or leg wounds that heal slowly or not at all
- Non-healing or gangrenous ulcers on the foot or ankle, also called critical limb ischemia (CLI)
- Atherosclerosis (partially obstructed or clogged blood vessels) elsewhere in the body
Early diagnosis and treatment are very important to avoid severe complications.
Vascular screening by angiogram can reduce the odds of amputation by as much as 90%. Only half of all amputees achieve mobility, and more than half will have a second amputation within three years.
If left untreated, PAD or CLI can lead to necrosis or even amputation of the affected area(s). Additionally, PAD can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke significantly.
Surgical treatment of PAD may involve angioplasty, stent placement, bypass, or other methods depending on the site and severity of the obstructed artery.
VIS offers minimally invasive treatments for PAD, allowing for same-day procedures and early return to normal activity. We’ll help you get back to living your life pain-free as soon as possible.
Dr. Chad Laurich is board-certified in vascular surgery and experienced in treatments for a variety of vascular conditions, including PAD and CLI.
Along with vascular surgery, treatment of PAD includes regular exercise, good control of cholesterol, smoking cessation, and certain medications.
Certain lifestyle changes can help prevent PAD or mitigate more severe complications:
- Get plenty of physical activity (30+ minutes, 5+ days a week)
- Stop smoking or using tobacco
- Maintain good blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Eat a heart-healthy diet, reduce sodium intake, and moderate alcohol use
Please Contact A Doctor If...
you are experiencing pain or cramping in the legs or hips while walking or exercising, foot or leg wounds that are slow to heal or foot pain when elevated. PAD is treatable if detected early, so it’s best to seek help before it becomes a major issue.
VIS is here to help. If you are at risk for aortic disease or have experienced one or more of the signs & symptoms, please reach out to schedule a screening. We’ll walk this journey with you.