Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
minimally invasive outpatient treatment options
or call us at 817.321.0951
What is Peripheral Artery Disease, and what causes it?
Peripheral artery disease, or PAD, is the narrowing of the “peripheral” arteries, which are blood vessels in the limbs, abdomen, and head. It can be a painful condition, and if left untreated, can lead to limited mobility, gangrene, amputation, and sometimes even death.
PAD is caused by a buildup of cholesterol and scar tissue on the artery’s walls, forming a substance known as plaque. This plaque builds up gradually and clogs the artery over time, restricting blood flow. In some cases, PAD is caused by blood clots that break free from within larger arteries and get lodged in narrower arteries, reducing blood flow as well.
What are the risk factors for PAD?
Risk factors that can lead to PAD include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes/metabolic syndrome, family history, being overweight, and being over age 50. It’s estimated that 20% of Americans over 65 have PAD and that quitting smoking reduces your risk by 60% within ten years.
How do I know if I have PAD?
PAD often goes undiagnosed by healthcare providers, and its symptoms are often mistaken for other conditions, such as neuropathy or the aches and pains of aging.
Typical symptoms of PAD include:
• Leg pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness
• Changes in the color of the arms or legs
• Foot or toe wounds that do not heal or heal slowly
• Decrease in the temperature of the lower legs and feet compared to the rest of the body
• Erectile dysfunction
• Poor nail or hair growth
The good news is that PAD is easily diagnosed with simple and painless tests, including physical examination by your provider, ankle-brachial index, ultrasound, X-ray, CT, and MRI. In some cases, an angiogram may be performed to identify the precise location of blockages.
What are treatment options for PAD?
If PAD is not severe, it can be treated with medication and/or lifestyle adjustments. However, if it has progressed to the point where intervention is needed, our Vascular & Interventional Specialists offer procedures for you and your provider to consider:
Angioplasty | At the site of the blockage within the artery, a tiny balloon is inserted and inflated to open the blood vessel.
Stents | A stent is a small metal “scaffold” that is inserted into the site of the blockage to open the blood vessel and keep it open.
Catheter-Directed Thrombolysis | If the blockage in the blood vessel is caused by a clot, a special drug known as a “clot buster” is used to effectively dissolve the clot and restore normal blood flow.
Atherectomy | An alternative to angioplasty, this procedure is a technique for removing plaque from the blood vessels with a catheter and a device that breaks up the plaque.
Stent Grafts | When an artery is no longer able to function, a special stent covered with a synthetic fabric can replace or bypass the diseased artery.
Each of these procedures are performed on an outpatient basis, and no hospital stay is required.
I’m interested! What are next steps?
If you believe you are a candidate for PAD, contact us for next steps by clicking on the Request a Consultation below or calling us at 817.321.0951. We would love to connect with you and discuss how we might be able to care for you.
Request a Consultation
or call us at 817.321.0951