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Peripheral Arterial Disease

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a very common condition that develops mostly as a result of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.

Also known as peripheral vascular disease (PVD), the disease occurs when scar tissue and cholesterol build up forming plaque inside the arteries.  Arteries clogged with plaque result in decreased blood flow to the legs, which can result in pain when walking, and eventually possibly gangrene and amputation if the condition is not treated.

Because individuals with PAD are likely to have blocked arteries throughout the body, they are often also at increased risk for heart disease, aortic aneurysms and stroke.  PAD may cause blood clots and is a marker for diabetes, hypertension and other conditions.

Symptoms of Peripheral Arterial Disease

  • Intermittent, painful cramping in leg or hip that occurs when walking or exercising
  • Numbness, tingling and weakness in lower legs or feet
  • Burning or aching pain in feet or toes when resting
  • A sore on the leg or foot that won’t heal
  • Poor circulation – cold legs or feet
  • Skin of legs or feet changing color
  • Loss of hair on legs

Treating Peripheral Arterial Disease

For patients who show symptoms and are at risk for peripheral arterial disease, DRPC can use ultrasound to measure the ankle-brachial index to determine the level of risk.  If further tests are needed for the diagnosis of PAD, we can also diagnose non-invasively with MRA or CT angiography.

In patients who are known to have developed atherosclerosis, we offer intereventional radiology procedures including balloon angioplasty and stenting, atherectomy and stent-grafts.