PAD (Peripheral Arterial Disease) is due to blocked leg arteries related to atherosclerosis. Most patients will have no complaints, but some will have aching in the calf, thigh or buttock when walking a certain distance. This discomfort is known as claudication.
“Blocked arteries can usually be treated with minimally invasive treatments such as balloon angioplasty, stents or laser procedures (atherectomy).”
HOW IS THE DIAGNOSIS OF PAD MADE?
Your doctor may find weak ankle pulses or perform a simple ankle blood pressure test (the ABI test). A follow-up ultrasound scan can localize blockages and assess their severity. An arteriogram (or angiogram) performed by injecting dye into the blood vessel is an invasive procedure and is not needed for diagnosis but is used to plan treatment.
DOES MY PAD REQUIRE TREATMENT AND IF SO, HOW?
Patients fear that PAD will lead to amputation. This is rarely true. Treatment is only required when PAD results in lifestyle-limiting discomfort, pain at rest (this is usually in the foot), ulceration or gangrene. Doctors prescribe cholesterol lowering medications and medications such as aspirin or clopidogrel because PAD is associated with blockages in other arteries that can lead to stroke or heart attack. Pletal and Trental may improve walking distance. Since smoking is a cause of atherosclerosis, quitting is essential. Blocked arteries can usually be treated with minimally invasive treatments such as balloon angioplasty, stents or laser procedures (atherectomy). However, surgical bypass grafts with artificial arteries may be required.
WHY SEE A VASCULAR SURGEON?
Vascular surgeons are the only specialists specifically trained to offer all treatment methods. Only vascular surgeons can ensure that the patient will get the most appropriate treatment for their condition.
ABOUT Dr. Russell H. Samson Dr. David P. Showalter Dr. Michael R. Lepore Jr. Dr. Deepak G. Nair
CONTACT (941) 371-6565
LOCATION 600 N. Cattlemen Road, Suite 220 Sarasota, FL 34232