Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

What is PAD/PVD?

Peripheral artery disease (PAD or PVD) is when fatty deposits, also known as plaque, builds up in the arteries restricting blood flow to the limbs. Plaque is made up of cholesterol, fatty substances, calcium and other cellular waste product, resulting in the artery walls becoming thicker, stiffer and the narrowing of the artery openings, which is known as atherosclerosis. PAD most often occurs in the legs and feet.

If PAD goes untreated, it can lead to more serious health outcomes such as leg pain, wounds that do not heal, amputation and death. In addition persons living with PAD are at greater risk of suffering a stroke, heart attack and other life limiting symptoms and conditions. If found early through proper screening, PAD can be managed with help from our vascular specialists.

Are You at Risk for PAD/PVD?

PAD affects 8 - 12 million people in the United States, impacting 20% of people 65 and older. PAD is most prominent in individuals with the following risk factors:

  • Abnormal blood cholesterol levels.
  • 50 years old or older.
  • Diabetes.
  • Individual and family history of heart disease, heart attack or stroke.
  • High blood pressure, typically 140/90 or higher.
  • Obesity.
  • Smoking.

How is PAD Treated?

Our vascular surgeons and specialists treat peripheral artery disease by focusing on the reduction of symptoms and preventing progression of the disease. Our specialists will work with patients to identify the appropriate life-style changes, such as improved diet, appropriate exercise, and medications if necessary.

In some cases the need for minimally invasive treatment is necessary. Our specialists are highly trained in minimally invasive procedures to treat PAD, such as angioplasty or stent placement. Both procedures are performed by a small incision, which a catheter is inserted to reach the blocked artery and a tiny balloon is inflated in the artery to open the clog. A stent can be placed to hold the artery open. Another procedure that can be performed is artherectomy, which is a procedure that removes the plaque from the artery.

If the arteries are completely blocked or severe symptoms are present, vascular surgery may be necessary. Our Specialists will review and discuss your health status, symptoms and options to identify the best intervention for you and your lifestyle. Call 1-866-LIFEFLOW to schedule a consultation, today.