What is peripheral artery disease?

Peripheral artery disease is a condition caused by plaque build-up in leg arteries that create a blockage in the blood vessels.

Some symptoms of PAD:

The symptoms of PAD include:

  • Pain in the back of the lower leg, worsened with exercise and relieved by rest.
  • Pain in the feet, thighs and buttocks
  • Difficulty walking up stairs
  • Erectile problems in men
  • Decreased female arousal.

The basic test for PAD is an ankle-brachial index or ABI where the blood pressure in the arms are compared to the blood pressure in the legs. The other common test performed is an ultrasound of the leg blood vessels.

Treatment includes:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Controlling diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol
  • Severe symptoms can be treated with angioplasty and stenting
  • Medications can also control pain and improve the circulation
  • Exercise
  • Surgery can be done where a bypass around the blockage is made either by using other blood vessels in the body or a manmade graft is inserted

Who is at higher risk for PAD?

People with diabetes, those that smoke, have a history of high blood pressure, and high cholesterol are at the greatest risk of developing PAD.

Windward Vein, Heart, Medispa