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Vascular Care

Peripheral Artery Disease diagnosis & treatment
Peripheral artery disease, or PAD, is a condition that affects the arteries outside the heart. These arteries include the aorta (largest artery) and arteries of the upper and lower limbs, head, and organs. Arteries are blood vessels that carry blood with oxygen from your heart to the rest of your body. PAD occurs when blood flow to a body part is decreased or stopped. Oxygen cannot get to that body part, and over time, this lack of oxygen may lead to tissue and organ damage. This may happen when the artery becomes narrowed, weakened, or blocked. Atherosclerosis, which causes fatty deposits (plaques) to build up in arteries, is the most common cause of PAD.

Signs and symptoms depend on what part of the body was affected and how much damage was done. The lower limbs are the first and most common part of the body affected by PAD. You may have muscle pain or cramping in your hip, thigh, calf, or foot. This usually occurs when walking or exercising, and goes away with rest. Over time, you may have severe pain that may happen even at rest, especially while lying down.

Diagnosis:  PAD diagnosis begins with a physical examination by the physician, who will check for weak pulses in the legs and often an ankle-brachial index (ABI) test . This inexpensive, painless exam takes only a few minutes to perform.
An ABI test compares the blood pressure in the feet to the blood pressure in the arms to determine how well the blood is flowing. Normally, the ankle pressure is at least 90 percent of the arm pressure. If an ABI reveals an abnormal ratio between the blood pressure of the ankle and arm, your physician may recommend further testing such as blood tests, ultrasound, computerized tomography / angiography (CTA) scanning, magnetic resonance angiography (MRI), or Arteriography.
  Know the Facts -
* 1 out of 5 Americans over 70 has PAD
* 1 out of 3 people with diabetes over age 50 is likely to have PAD
* PAD is the leading cause of amputations in people with diabetes
* Smokers and former smokers face up to 4 times the risk for PAD as people who have never smoked
* PAD affects more than 12 million Americans
* People with untreated PAD are 6 times more likely to suffer a cardiovascular death
* Without early detection and proper treatment, 1 in 4 people with PAD will suffer a heart attack, stroke, amputation or die within the next 5 years
Symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease
* Cramps, tiredness or pain in the legs, thighs, or buttocks that happens when you walk; but goes away when you rest.
* Foot or toe pain at rest that may interfere with sleep.
* Numbness or tingling in the lower legs and feet.
* Skin coolness in the lower legs and feet.
* Skin wounds (ulcers) on your feet or toes that are slow to heal, or do not heal completely.
Risk factors for Peripheral Artery disease

* Diabetes
* Smoking
* High blood pressure
* High cholesterol
* Family history of heart or vascular disease