Jim started losing the hair on his head the day he turned 40. He remembers thinking about how he might look as an old, bald man. It turns out he didn’t have to wait long. Last year, Jim began to notice he was losing hair on his legs. He thought it was strange, but just assumed it was because he was just getting older.
Jim didn’t know it, but he had developed peripheral artery disease (PAD), and his arteries were hardened by plaque attaching to the walls. As the arteries hardened, blood flow to the legs was restricted. In order for hair (or toenails) to grow, they need to have blood supply.
There are many serious signs of PAD, but one that can often be overlooked is diminished hair growth on the legs. While to some people losing hair on the legs is not a problem, it is important to know that in conjunction with other symptoms, it may not be a good sign.
In fact, many people with PAD mistake their symptoms as a sign of getting older and easily dismiss their leg pain as arthritis. Other symptoms include leg pain that is experienced during activity, but diminishes when at rest, wounds that won’t heal, and poor toenail growth. Many people, like Jim, don’t understand how a major vascular problem like PAD can cause such small, yet important, changes in the body.
Left untreated, PAD can be dangerous. This disease can lead to painful symptoms or loss of a leg. Patients with PAD have an increased risk of coronary artery disease, stroke, and heart attack. Due to these increased risks to their health, people with PAD symptoms should take them seriously and see a medical professional.
USA Vascular Centers offer a treatment for PAD called stent angioplasty. This procedure is done as a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure, so there is no hospital stay. The treatment involves a tiny catheter being inserted into the blocked artery. The catheter implants a small, mesh stent that is wrapped around a tiny balloon. The stent expands with the balloon, and compresses the plaque formation in the artery so the blood can flow freely again.
Timely detection of PAD can improve your quality of life, keep you mobile, reduce dangerous risks to your health, and even save your limbs and your life. If you have noticed that the hair on your legs isn’t growing like it used to and believe you have other symptoms of PAD, call USA Vascular Centers at (888) 628-9389 to schedule a consultation with our leading vascular specialists who can determine if vascular treatment is right for you. Treatments at USA Vascular Centers are covered by Medicare, most insurance plans, and Medicaid.