Peripheral Arterial Disease

Vascular Access Centers

Vascular Medicine located in Landover, MD & Brandywine, MD

It’s estimated that more than 10-12 million Americans have pain and numbness in their legs due to peripheral arterial disease. If you’re one of them, contact the team of vascular experts at Vascular Access Centers in Landover and Brandywine, Maryland. The team offers efficient treatment options for this progressive condition. Call or schedule an appointment online today.

Peripheral Arterial Disease Q & A

What is peripheral arterial disease (PAD)?

PAD is a condition where the arteries that carry blood to your extremities become narrow, which inhibits your circulation. While it can develop in any peripheral artery in your body, PAD most frequently develops in your legs.

What are peripheral arterial disease symptoms?

PAD causes symptoms including:

  • Leg pain during activities, but not when you stop activities
  • Numbness, coldness, or tingling in lower legs and feet
  • Ulcers or sores that don’t heal on your legs or feet
  • Erectile dysfunction (men)
  • Leg pain that awakens you
  • Slow-growing leg hair or toenails
  • Weak pulse in your legs or feet
  • Shiny or discolored leg skin

 

A wide variety of conditions can cause these symptoms, so many patients often assume their leg pain or the numbness is caused by something else. However, PAD is a progressive disease, which means it becomes worse over time if left untreated and can lead to amputation and can be a precursor to serious cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke.

What causes peripheral arterial disease?

Atherosclerosis is often the cause of PAD. Atherosclerosis is a condition where fatty deposits build up on the insides of your arteries, harden into plaque, and narrow the space available for blood to flow. You may also develop PAD following injury or inflammation of your blood vessels.

PAD risk factors include:

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • A family history of PAD

 

If you have a high risk of developing PAD, you can take steps to manage your health with a healthy diet and regular exercise. You should also have regular check-ups with your doctor to monitor your health for signs of PAD and other vascular health issues with vascular ultrasounds and other diagnostic tests.

How is peripheral arterial disease treated?

The team at Vascular Access Centers provides a variety of treatments for PAD to improve your circulation and reduce your risk of complications that could lead to amputation. Treatment often begins with lifestyle modifications to improve your overall health and cardiovascular strength such as smoking cessation programs and changes to your diet and exercise habits.

In addition, they perform treatments to open your arteries to allow blood to flow more efficiently. For example, your doctor may suggest peripheral angioplasty or stenting to open your arteries.

They may also recommend a procedure called atherectomy, which debulks the plaque in your arteries. This treatment is often used when your arteries are heavily calcified, and angioplasty and stenting aren’t effective on their own.

In the United States, 180,000 non-traumatic amputations are performed every year. Don’t become a statistic. If you have concerns about PAD, call or schedule an appointment online today.

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