The caring, knowledgeable vascular specialists at USA Vascular Centers are experts at diagnosing and treating peripheral artery disease (PAD). PAD is a condition caused by plaque building up in the artery walls, narrowing the artery and restricting blood flow.
If symptoms of PAD are impacting your quality of life, we can help. Peripheral artery disease treatment can reduce your risk of developing more serious conditions like heart attack, stroke, or limb amputations.
When to See a Vascular Specialist
If you suspect you may have PAD, we encourage you to seek treatment right away. With prompt peripheral artery disease treatment, your symptoms and quality of life can improve significantly.
You may need to see a vascular specialist if you’re experiencing one or more of the following symptoms:
- Pain and cramping in the calves, hips, or thighs while walking or exercising (claudication)
- Numbness and tingling in the feet or legs
- Loss of hair or slowed hair growth in the lower extremities
- Cold legs and feet
- Shiny skin on legs or feet
- Swollen legs
- A change in skin color of the lower extremities
These are common symptoms of peripheral artery disease.
“However, many patients may not experience symptoms until PAD progresses to a later stage,” says Dr. Aaron Shiloh, an experienced vascular doctor at USA Vascular Centers.
Another common misconception is to believe the leg pain you’re experiencing is a normal sign of aging instead of a possible symptom of PAD. A vascular specialist can provide an accurate diagnosis of your condition and recommend peripheral artery disease treatment. If you are over the age of 65, or are over age 50 and have a history of smoking or diabetes, consider getting a screening. You may also require screening if you are under age 50 and struggle with diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.
Left untreated, PAD can put you at risk of developing a serious condition, such as a heart attack or a stroke. You may also experience one or more transient ischemic attacks. A transient ischemic attack is a temporary obstruction of blood flow to the brain and can be a warning sign of strokes to come. PAD can also lead to renal artery stenosis, or the narrowing of one or more arteries that carry blood to the kidneys.
How to Choose the Right Vascular Specialist
At USA Vascular Centers, our vascular specialists are accomplished experts with years of experience. Learn about our doctors’ experience, licensure, awards, and education by visiting our website and viewing their profiles.
Our state-of-the-art outpatient centers are accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). This accreditation means that each of our centers operates at the highest possible level of quality patient care. Through this accreditation, we are certified for Medicare and Medicaid. We are recognized for our high standard of care for PAD treatment, and we meet and exceed state and federal regulations. In addition, we continuously provide our doctors with the newest training for leading-edge treatments.
Diagnosis and Testing for PAD
Once you’ve made an appointment with one of our doctors, they can diagnose and test for PAD and determine the best treatment for your peripheral artery disease. To diagnose PAD, your vascular specialist may use a variety of diagnostic tools. A physical exam can help your doctor note swelling, discolored skin, or faint pulses in your feet, all of which are signs that your arteries may be clogged.
Your specialist can also perform an ankle-brachial index (ABI) test. In this minimally invasive exam, your doctor will take blood pressure readings from all four limbs and compare the numbers to get an ABI index.
If needed, your doctor may conduct an ultrasound or perform an angiography, which uses contrast dye injected into the vascular system to help spot narrowed arteries.
Your specialist may also decide to order a blood test that measures the triglycerides and cholesterol in your blood.
PAD Treatment Options
After a diagnosis, your vascular specialist can discuss the best PAD treatment for you. If you have mild PAD, your doctor may prescribe lifestyle changes and medications that can help promote improved vascular health.
Moderate to severe PAD may require peripheral artery disease treatment, including percutaneous peripheral interventions, such as:
- Angioplasty: A procedure in which a balloon is inserted into the narrowed artery and inflated to widen the passage.
- Stent placement: Similar to an angioplasty, but is performed by inserting a mesh stent into the affected artery to keep it open.
- Atherectomy: Involves using a rotating catheter to remove the plaque from the diseased artery.
Your vascular specialist can help you decide which treatment is best for you and explore new treatments for PAD that may also be options for you.
Schedule a Consultation with USA Vascular Team Today
The network of skilled vascular specialists at USA Vascular Centers is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people suffering from peripheral artery disease. Start your journey to finding relief from your PAD symptoms and schedule an appointment with one of our trusted experts online or give us a call at 888.773.2193 today.