Peripheral artery disease (or PAD) is a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to your limbs. Over 3 million cases of PAD are diagnosed in the United States a year. PAD is caused by the buildup of fat and cholesterol deposits, called plaque, on the inside walls of the arteries. Over time, the build-up narrows the artery and causes circulatory issues within the limbs.
PAD is also likely to be a sign of a more widespread accumulation of fatty deposits in your arteries in other parts of your body. This condition may be reducing blood flow to your heart and brain, as well as your legs.
Often, people with PAD will experience no symptoms. When symptoms are present, patients experience pain or cramping in the legs or arms which is caused by physical activity and dissipates after a few minutes of rest. In most cases, the location of the pain dictates the location of the clogged artery. Early on, PAD may only cause difficulty walking, but in its most severe forms, it can cause painful foot ulcers, infections, and even gangrene, which could require amputation. People with PAD are three times more likely to die of heart attacks or strokes than those without PAD.
The overall goals for treating PAD are to reduce any symptoms, improve the quality of life and mobility, and prevent heart attack, stroke, and amputation. There are three main approaches to treating P.A.D.: making lifestyle changes; taking medication; and in some cases, having a special procedure or surgery.
At Metro Vascular Centers we offer several treatment options using the latest technology to successfully treat PAD.