ANGIOPLASTY AND STENTING
Interventional radiologists pioneered angioplasty and stenting, which was first performed to treat peripheral arterial disease. Using imaging for guidance, a catheter is thread through the femoral artery in the groin to the blocked artery in the legs. Once there, a balloon is inflated to open the blood vessel where it is narrowed or blocked. In some cases this is then held open with a stent, a tiny metal scaffolding. This is a minimally invasive treatment that does not require surgery, just a small nick in the skin.
Interventional radiologists pioneered angioplasty and stenting, which was first performed to treat peripheral arterial disease. Using imaging for guidance, a catheter is thread through the femoral artery in the groin to the blocked artery in the legs. Once there, a device is used to remove the calcifications or plaque that is narrowing the arteries. At APC there are several different devices used, depending on the size shape or make up of the narrowing. This is a minimally invasive treatment that does not require surgery, just a small nick in the skin.
LIMB SALVAGE AS A PAD TREATMENT
Limb salvage procedures are designed to open narrowed vessels and/or remove plaque in affected areas through minimally invasive techniques that aim to prevent the need for amputation. The experts at APC will conduct a consult and diagnostic study for you in order to determine whether or not you are a good candidate for this procedure. We feel that our limb salvage procedure will open the door to a, improved quality of life you didn’t realize was available to you!
While many people with peripheral artery disease have mild or no symptoms, some people have leg pain when walking (claudication). Claudication symptoms include muscle pain or cramping in your legs or arms that’s triggered by activity, such as walking, but disappears after a few minutes of rest. The location of the pain depends on the location of the clogged or narrowed artery. Calf pain is the most common location.
The severity of claudication varies widely, from mild discomfort to debilitating pain. Severe claudication can make it hard for you to walk or do other types of physical activity.
Peripheral artery disease symptoms include:
- Painful cramping in your hip, thigh or calf muscles after certain activities, such as walking or climbing stairs (claudication)
- Leg numbness or weakness
- Coldness in your lower leg or foot, especially when compared with the other side
- Sores on your toes, feet or legs that won’t heal
- A change in the color of your legs
- Hair loss or slower hair growth on your feet and legs
- Slower growth of your toenails
- Shiny skin on your legs
- No pulse or a weak pulse in your legs or feet
- Erectile dysfunction in men.
THE FACTS ON PAD Peripheral artery disease (also called peripheral arterial disease) is a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to your limbs. When you develop peripheral artery disease (PAD), your extremities — usually your legs — don’t receive enough blood flow to keep up with demand. This causes symptoms, most notably leg pain when walking (claudication). Peripheral artery disease is also likely to be a sign of a more widespread accumulation of fatty deposits in your arteries (atherosclerosis). This condition may be reducing blood flow to your heart and brain, as well as your legs. You often can successfully treat peripheral artery disease by quitting tobacco, exercising and eating a healthy diet.
WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR
If you have leg pain, numbness or other symptoms, don’t dismiss them as a normal part of aging. Call your doctor and make an appointment. Even if you don’t have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, you may need to be screened if you are:
- Over age 70
- Over age 50 and have a history of diabetes or smoking
- Under age 50, but have diabetes and other peripheral artery disease risk factors, such as obesity or high blood pressure
Peripheral artery disease is often caused by atherosclerosis. In atherosclerosis, fatty deposits (plaques) build up in your artery walls and reduce blood flow.
Although the heart is usually the focus of discussion of atherosclerosis, this disease can and usually does affect arteries throughout your body. When it occurs in the arteries supplying blood to your limbs, it causes peripheral artery disease. Less commonly, the cause of peripheral artery disease may be blood vessel inflammation, injury to your limbs, unusual anatomy of your ligaments or muscles, or radiation exposure.
Factors that increase your risk of developing peripheral artery disease include:
- Obesity (a body mass index over 30)
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Increasing age, especially after reaching 50 years old
- A family history of peripheral artery disease, heart disease or stroke
- High levels of homocysteine, a protein component that helps build and maintain tissue
People who smoke or have diabetes have the greatest risk of developing peripheral artery disease due to reduced blood flow.