Peripheral Arterial Disease

Vascular Access Centers

Vascular Medicine located in Jacksonville, FL

The most common symptom of peripheral arterial disease is leg pain that occurs when you walk, climb stairs or exercise. The specialists at the Vascular Access Center of Jacksonville provide world-class treatment if you have been diagnosed with PAD. With early treatment, you can prevent disease progression and complications. Call the office in Jacksonville, Florida, or book an appointment online today.

Peripheral Arterial Disease Q & A

What is peripheral arterial disease?

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) occurs when narrowed or clogged arteries interfere with blood flow. PAD commonly develops in arteries that supply blood to your legs and feet, but it can affect your arms as well.

Are you at risk for peripheral arterial disease?

Your risk for developing PAD is higher if you’re over 50, smoke, or have any of the following:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • A family history of PAD

 

If you have PAD, you also have a higher risk of other types of cardiovascular disease, such as heart attack or stroke.

What causes peripheral arterial disease?

The most common cause of PAD is atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Atherosclerosis develops when cholesterol collects on artery walls, forming plaque buildup that blocks blood flow. Blood clots can also cause PAD.

When PAD goes untreated, it decreases blood flow, which depletes the supply of oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. Eventually, the affected tissues become damaged and die, requiring limb amputation.

What are the symptoms of peripheral arterial disease?

About half of all patients with PAD don’t develop signs or symptoms. When symptoms do appear, you may experience:

  • Leg pain during activities, but not when you stop activities
  • Numbness, coldness, or tingling in lower legs and feet
  • Ulcers or sores that don’t heal on your legs or feet
  • Erectile dysfunction (men)
  • Leg pain that awakens you
  • Slow-growing leg hair or toenails
  • Weak pulse in your legs or feet
  • Shiny or discolored leg skin

 

You may think your PAD symptoms are related to aging, but don’t ignore them; early treatment prevents complications that may ultimately lead to amputation.

How is peripheral arterial disease treated?

Treatment for PAD is tailored to your individual needs. Your treatment plan may include lifestyle changes like smoking cessation and weight loss, treatment for underlying health conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes, and medications to improve circulation and prevent clots.

The Vascular Access Center team offers specialized treatments for PAD such as:

Angioplasty and stenting

Your physician threads a catheter to the blocked artery in your legs then inflates a balloon to open the narrowed area. For some patients, your doctor may place a small metal stent in the artery to keep it open.

Atherectomy

In this procedure, your vascular specialist opens a clogged artery by debulking, or cutting away the plaque. It’s the best option when the plaque is too calcified to be opened by a balloon.

If you’ve experienced symptoms associated with PAD, don’t wait to have a thorough evaluation — call or book an appointment online today.

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