Did you know that over 6.5 million people aged 40 and older in the United States have Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)?
It may surprise you to learn that both men and women are affected, but African Americans are at a higher risk. Even though Hispanics may have similar to slightly higher rates than non-hispanic whites, anyone can be affected by PAD.
It’s important to be aware that other health conditions can mimic the symptoms of PAD, and not all cases are due to atherosclerosis. If you do have PAD, it’s crucial to know that you may be at risk for developing coronary artery disease and cerebrovascular disease, which could potentially lead to a heart attack or stroke.
But the good news is that there are non-surgical treatments available to help manage and improve this condition.
So, if you believe you may have PAD, don’t hesitate to contact us. By catching it early, you could potentially avoid more serious health complications down the line.
IR procedures are nonsurgical, outpatient, same-day procedures that can often be performed in under an hour. They are also called percutaneous procedures or needle entry procedures. These recently developed techniques allow access to areas that would otherwise require a more invasive procedure, such as traditional surgery, which requires general anesthesia, a stay in the hospital, and a long recovery period.
Our minimally invasive image-guided procedures are cutting-edge technology without the need of a scalpel.
While it’s normal to experience mild discomfort during and post-treatment, most patients report a positive experience without any major pain.
All procedures can be done on-site at the medical clinic. No general anesthesia or hospital stay is required.
Interventional radiology procedures typically involve shorter recovery periods and faster return to daily activities than traditional open surgeries.
Interventional radiology has a high success rate in diagnosing and treating a variety of medical conditions using minimally invasive techniques.
Compared to traditional surgical procedures, interventional radiology has fewer side effects, such as reduced pain and scarring, shorter recovery times, and lower risks of complications.
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a chronic arterial occlusive disease that causes narrowing or blocking of arteries in the lower limbs, reducing blood flow to these areas.
The main cause of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is atherosclerosis, which is the buildup of fatty deposits on artery walls. Other common causes include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, trauma to the arteries, and diabetes.
Risk factors for PAD include being over age 50, smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, lack of exercise, having had a heart attack, high body mass index, and having high blood cholesterol levels.
About 8 million people in the United States have PAD, and it is estimated that 5% of men and 3% of women aged 40 years and older have PAD. The prevalence of PAD increases with age.
Intermittent claudication is the most common symptom of PAD, causing leg or hip pain when walking due to reduced blood flow to working muscles. The pain usually goes away after resting for a few minutes and returns with further activity.
Treatment for intermittent claudication includes controlling risk factors such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes, or stopping smoking. Medications used to treat PAD include beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, ACE inhibitors, statins, clopidogrel, and cilostazol.
Gangrene is the death of body tissue, usually in one or more toes, fingers, or limbs, and is most often due to reduced blood flow caused by narrowing of arteries. It is the end stage of PAD when arteries are so blocked that tissues can’t get nutrients and die.
The biggest risk factors for developing gangrene are atherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus, smoking, peripheral vascular disease, neuropathy, trauma to the affected limb, malnutrition, chronic alcoholism, infection of the soft tissue or bone, and corticosteroid therapy.
If gangrene occurs, it may require amputation of a toe, foot, or leg. Prevention of PAD and treatment of the peripheral arterial disease reduces the risk of developing dry gangrene and improves quality of life. For example, putting on compression stockings to improve blood flow to the arteries in lower legs.
– Smoking cessation
– Eating a healthy diet
– Exercising regularly
– Maintaining a healthy weight
– Controlling diabetes
– Controlling hypertension
– Controlling hypercholesterolemia
– Regularly checking feet for any cuts or injuries that can lead to infection
The diagnosis of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) begins with a history and physical exam. Imaging & Interventional Specialists look for signs such as coolness to the touch of the feet and legs, gait abnormalities, skin changes, muscle atrophy, limited movement in one or both legs, swelling, leg ulcers, and ankle and foot pulses character.
Tests that may be ordered by Imaging & Interventional Specialists include:
– Ankle brachial index (ABI)
– Doppler Ultrasound
– CT Angiogram, MRI angiography, DSA (Digital Subtraction Angiography)
– Pulse Volume Recording or PVR Scan
– Treadmill test
– Lower extremity angiogram (LEA)
Ankle brachial index (ABI) is a simple and non-invasive test that compares the blood pressure in your ankles to the blood pressure measured at your arms. It can be used as a screening test for those who have symptoms of peripheral arterial disease (PAD).
A low ABI may indicate the presence of PAD, but it does not give conclusive results: further tests such as treadmill exercise testing and ultrasound imaging may be recommended by your doctor.
The measurement is recorded as the systolic blood pressure at both the ankle and arm divided by the higher of the two readings.
A ratio higher than 0.9 is considered normal, a ratio of 0.8 to 0.89 is diagnosed as PAD Stage 1 or “claudication,” and a reading below 0.8 is said to represent severe arterial obstruction (“critical limb ischemia”).
The patient sits down with their back supported and legs uncrossed. The blood pressure cuff for the upper arm should be wrapped around bare skin above the elbow on the same side as your tested leg.
After 5 minutes rest, this cuff will measure the systolic blood pressure in your arm. The blood pressure cuff for the ankle is then placed around the ankle bone on the same side as your tested leg.
After 5 minutes rest, this cuff will measure the systolic blood pressure in your ankle. The measurements are then compared to determine the ABI.