A: What is PAD?

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a narrowing of blood vessels that supply to legs. The narrowed arteries cannot supply enough blood.

There are four common stages of PAD

  1. Artery narrowing without symptoms
  2. Claudication: Pain with walking or with daily activities (claudication)
  3. Pain at rest
  4. Tissue loss such as ulcers and gangrene.
B: Who are at risk from PAD?
  1. Advanced age
  2. Diabetes – Diabetes greatly increases the risk of PAD as well as heart attack or stroke
  3. Smoking
  4. High blood pressure
  5. High cholesterol
  6. Lack of exercise
C: Who need to be tested for PAD?

Diabetic for more than 10 years duration.
Leg pains, easy tiresomeness.
Thigh, or buttock or calf or foot cramping with ambulation.
Pain in the foot day and night.
Ulcers over toes or foot or legs.

D: Is there any medical therapy?

All patients need to be evaluated by a certified vascular specialist. Basic noninvasive testing such as ABI and Ultrasound are performed to diagnose and estimate the PAD severity.

Anti-platelet medications and supervised exercise therapy are useful in those with early PAD symptoms.

E: What are the minimally invasive treatment options?

An outpatient minimally invasive treatment option is available such as angioplasty and stenting for PAD. Through a needle puncture in the groin the narrowing is opened with a small balloon and a tubular mesh (stent) will be deployed. This stenting procedure is as effective as and safer than the traditional bypass surgery for PAD. Usually patients are sent home on the same day. In only rare cases bypass surgery is recommended.

F: What is the recovery period after stenting?

Usually normal activity is resumed the next day. Weight lifting more than 10 lbs are not recommended for 1-2 weeks following procedure.

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