About Peripheral Artery Disease Therapy
This information is intended for general information only and should not be considered as medical advice on the part of Health-Tourism.com. Any decision on medical treatments, after-care or recovery should be done solely upon proper consultation and advice of a qualified physician.
What is peripheral artery disease (PAD)?
This is a medical condition in which fatty deposits (atheroma) build up in the arteries restricting blood supply to the leg muscles. It is also called peripheral vascular disease. The disease is a likely sign of atherosclerosis which reduces blood flow to the heart and brain as well as the legs.Who is affected
Signs and symptoms
- Factors that increase the chances of developing PAD include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- People over the age of 50
- Male gender
- Family history of heart disease or stroke
- High levels of homocysteine
- Intermittent claudication: pain in leg muscles when walking which resolves with rest
- Skin ulcers
- Bluish skin
- Cold skin
- Poor nail and hair growth
- Critical limb ischemia
- Recurring leg pain when exercising
- Weak or no pulse in your feet
- Erectile dysfunction
- Shiny skin on your feet and legs
- Ankle-brachial index: In this test, the blood pressure in the arms and ankles is measured. If the blood pressure readings in the ankles are lower than in the arms, peripheral artery disease is suspected. The test may also be done while exercising usually on a treadmill until the pain in the legs occurs.
- Blood tests: This test requires a sample of your blood to be drawn. It is used to measure your triglycerides and cholesterol. It is also used to check for diseases such as diabetes.
- Doppler ultrasound: This test does an ultrasound on the lower limbs. It examines the site and the progression of atherosclerosis.
- Angiography: This involves inserting a catheter into the femoral artery and selectively guiding it to the artery being examined. A radiodense contrast agent is injected in and an x-ray is taken.
- Computerized tomography (CT): Modern multislice computerized tomography scanners are used as an alternative to angiography. They provide direct images of the arterial system.
- Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA): This test uses a computer, radio frequencies, and a large magnet to produce pictures of blood vessels in the body. The MRA produces high-resolution three-dimensional images and is safe to use.
- Lifestyle changes
- Smoking cessation
- Diabetes management
- Hypertension management
- Management of high cholesterol
- Regular exercise
- Your doctor may prescribe medication in some cases to improve symptoms or to treat an underlying disease.
- Anti-hypertensive are widely used to widen your arteries and reduce the amount of water in your blood. This helps to decrease the blood pressure.
- Side effects include fatigue, headaches, dizziness and a persistent dry cough but pass after a few days. However, the cough may last longer.
Your doctor may refer you to a surgeon-vascular or endovascular- if your symptoms do not get better after making lifestyle changes and using medication.
- Angioplasty: This is as procedure done on solitary lesions in larger arteries
- Atherectomy: This involves scraping off the plaque from the inside of the vessel wall
- Vascular bypass: This can be done to bypass a diseased area
- Amputation: This is the preferred chaise when gangrene sets in
- Thrombectomy: This is done in cases of embolism or arterial thrombosis
Learn more about Peripheral Artery Disease