Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) affects over 200 million people globally and only continues to rise as a concern with age. Additionally, the U.S. National Library of Medicine explains that smokers have 2.5 times the risk of developing PAD, and a diabetic patient’s risk factor increases two to four times as a result of their condition.
Put simply, the older and less active you become, the greater your risk of developing PAD.
This condition progresses when vessels carrying blood from the heart to the lower extremities become blocked due to plaque buildup. This can lead to a variety of symptoms, including:
● Painful cramping in hips, thigh, or calf muscles
● Numbness in legs
● Leg discoloration
● Weakened pulse in the legs or feet
● Sores on toes, feet, or legs that are resistant to healing
Although weight loss, increased activity, and/or decreased smoking habits can sometimes ease the aforementioned symptoms, you may need to seek further clinical care. That’s why, here at Gulf Coast Vascular, we provide PAD diagnostic and treatment options to aid in overall limb preservation.
Certified Ultrasound Vascular Testing
A vascular ultrasound is a non-invasive and painless diagnostic method. During this process,
our physicians will identify where blockages exist in a patient’s extremities through ultrasound
images generated in real-time. By monitoring blockages, we can determine the severity of a
patient’s condition and design a treatment plan best suited for that individual.
Angiography testing is a diagnostic method in which a harmless dye or contrast is injected into a patient’s bloodstream to monitor the circulatory system and gain further insight into any blockages present in the body. An imaging technique called catheter angiography is used to complete this process.
With the utilization of interventional radiology, a balloon angioplasty involves guiding a catheter
through a patient’s femoral artery and up to the blockage site. Once placed, a small balloon will
be inflated, effectively opening the artery back up to resume normal blood flow. This process
often uses ultrasound technology for accuracy and precision.
Stenting, used in addition to balloon angioplasty, is a process in which a small metal tube is
inserted into the affected artery to further support blood flow once it has been restored. This
stent will create support for arterial walls and ensure that the artery remains open.
A patient may need an atherectomy to ensure any blockages are cleared correctly in
conjunction with balloon angioplasty and stenting. This minimally invasive procedure involves
carving out any plaque buildup within the arterial walls.