PAD Screening

Who Should Get Tested for Peripheral Artery Disease?

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a serious condition caused by plaque buildup in the arteries of the legs. Blood flow becomes restricted in these narrowed arteries, which can lead to pain when you are active. If left untreated, PAD can severely impact your mobility and quality of life. If you are over the age of 50 and are at risk of developing this condition, you should schedule a PAD screening test. Risk factors include:

  • Family or personal history of heart disease, stroke, heart attack, or vascular disease
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • A diet high in fat

Additionally, if you experience any of the symptoms of PAD, you should be tested. These include:

  • Claudication
  • Leg pain
  • Discoloration of the legs
  • Numbness or weakness in the legs
  • Arterial ulcers on the feet

At USA Vascular Centers, our vascular doctors have expertise in screening and treatment of PAD if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

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How Often Should I Get Tested for PAD?

If you are at a high risk for PAD, you should get tested once a year. PAD is a progressive disease, therefore early detection, diagnosis, and treatment is essential to help ensure the best outcome for your wellbeing.

What are the Common Screening Tests for PAD?

You may be asked to have tests done to determine if you have PAD. These can be specific to the condition or to risk factors associated with it. A vascular doctor may order blood tests and an angiogram, but the ankle brachial index (ABI) exam is the most common PAD screening test.

Blood Tests

Blood tests can’t diagnose PAD, but they can help determine your risk for other conditions, which may increase your likelihood of developing peripheral artery disease. These conditions can include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and smoking. Having three or more of these factors increases the risk 10-fold.

Blood tests can measure your blood sugar and cholesterol levels to determine if you have or are at risk for developing diabetes and high cholesterol. Comparing previous tests with new blood work can show potential issues and risks for developing PAD in the future.

Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) Exam

The Ankle-Brachial Index exam is a minimally invasive test for PAD screening that measures the blood pressure in your legs against the pressure in your arms. If the pressure is lower in your legs, it may indicate a blockage in an artery. The ABI test is a common screening test for PAD because it is simple to conduct and noninvasive.

Angiogram

An angiogram is a procedure that detects the location of blockage or narrowed arteries. It can also show the extent of the blockage, which can help the doctor know what treatment to recommend. A vascular doctor will inject a dye into the artery and take a series of images to be read by a radiologist. The dye makes it easier to view the arteries on the images.

What are the Next Steps if Diagnosed with PAD?

If you are diagnosed with PAD, USA Vascular Centers offers quality, minimally invasive care that puts your needs first. Our vascular specialists will discuss treatment options, which may include:

Schedule a Consultation with USA Vascular Today

If you find your PAD screening resulting in a PAD diagnosis, that doesn’t mean your symptoms have to affect your quality of life. Schedule a consultation with USA Vascular Centers or give us a call at 888.773.2193 to find the care you deserve.

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Timely detection and treatment of PAD can improve the quality of your life; help you keep your independence and mobility; and reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke, leg amputation, and even death.

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888-773-2193