Peripheral Artery Disease

What is peripheral artery disease?

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD), also known as peripheral vascular disease (PVD), is a very common condition affecting 12-20 percent of Americans (both men and women) age 65 and older. PAD develops most commonly as a result of atherosclerosis, or “hardening of the arteries,” which occurs when cholesterol and scar tissue build up, forming a substance called plaque that narrows and clogs the arteries. Left untreated, PAD can become a very serious condition. The clogged arteries cause decreased blood flow to the legs, which can result in pain when walking, and eventually lead to gangrene and amputation.

One symptom of PAD is intermittent claudication—pain that occurs when a person walks and subsides when s/he stops. Another symptom is a wound on the leg that won’t heal or takes a very long time to heal. A loss of hair on the lower legs can be another warning sign of PAD.

Peripheral Artery Disease Treatment - PAD - TN

Diagnosing PAD

If you think you might have PAD, your doctor can perform a simple test on your legs to assess your risk. The doctors at Memphis Vascular Center can also perform this test, as well as other diagnostic imaging tests that can be used to ascertain the extent of your disease.

Treatment for PAD

If detected early, many with PAD can be treated just with smoking cessation and a medically supervised exercise program. This is known as conservative treatment.

If conservative treatment isn’t working and the problem progresses, the interventional radiologists at Memphis Vascular Center can perform a procedure called balloon angioplasty to open a blocked artery and placing a stent to hold the artery open, if needed. Atherectomy is another technique to treat PAD. It removes plaque from the wall of the blood vessel with a sharp blade attached to a catheter. The cleared plaque is drawn into the catheter and removed from the body.

Fill out the following questionnaire to see if you are at risk for Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD).

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Contact us at 901-683-1890 for more information.
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