Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a circulatory condition wherein a patient’s limbs develop narrowed arteries. As their blood vessels are blocked by plaque (also referred to as atherosclerosis), their overall circulation suffers, thereby putting their limbs at risk if not properly
While lifestyle changes (such as increased exercise or smoking cessation) may result in sufficient results for some patients, others require more extensive attention.
As our team treats patients living with peripheral arterial disease (PAD), we focus not only on determining the cause of their condition and treating their symptoms, but on preserving their limbs.
When left untreated, PAD may gradually cut off blood flow to the point where limb amputation becomes necessary. Thus, our practice is focused on restoring a patient’s blood flow with the ultimate goals of preventing amputation, preserving their limbs, and mitigating further disease progression.
QuantaFlo™ Testing is a simple, painless method for measuring and comparing the differences in blood flow between both arms and legs. Thus, a doctor may be able to determine if further PAD monitoring or treatment is necessary. Using a sensor on a patient’s fingers and toes, the measurement of their blood circulation will be completed in a matter of minutes.
Designed to identify areas that contain narrowed arteries, vascular ultrasounds are a non-invasive means of generating images of a patient’s blood flow. As the soundwaves map out the arteries, the doctor can then determine both the severity of the condition in addition to the precise locations where treatment is necessary.
Angiography involves the use of a medical dye — or contrast — which is injected into the patient’s bloodstream. This dye allows the doctor to monitor the rate of blood circulation in real-time, thereby revealing where arterial blockages exist. Angiography is completed using either catheter angiography, computerized tomography angiography (CTA), or magnetic resonance angiography (MRA).
One of the most commonly performed treatments for PAD, balloon angioplasty is a process that involves the use of interventional radiology to guide the insertion of a catheter. Specifically, the doctor will guide the catheter up to the poorly-functioning artery through the patient’s femoral artery. Once it is properly in position, the doctor will then use the catheter to inflate a small balloon apparatus in order to reopen the vein and eliminate the blockage.
Some patients may have blocked arteries that require further support. In this case, a doctor may choose to insert a stent, or a small metal tube, which is placed inside the vein once it is opened by balloon angioplasty. Thus, the angioplasty process is augmented by the stent, and continued circulation is better ensured.
Atherectomy is presented to patients as an alternative to balloon angioplasty. A safe endovascular surgery, this process involves the removal of the plaque that is blocking the veins, thereby opening them back up to increased blood flow.