Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is caused by blockage of the arteries going to an extremity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approximately 8.5 million people in the United States have PAD, including 12-20% individuals older than age 60. The most common symptom of PAD is pain during exercise or walk which stops at rest.
If symptoms of PAD are left untreated, the lack of blood circulation may cause the pain in the affected limb to increase. Tissues in the legs may die due to lack of oxygen and nutrients, leading to infection and gangrene. In some cases gangrene can be very dangerous as the infection can spread through the body and become life-threatening. In severe cases of PAD where the doctor thinks blood circulation cannot be improved in another way, the limb is surgically removed from the body. The main sites of amputation are; Just below the knee, through the knee or the thigh.
Losing a limb to PAD can be one of the most traumatic experience of a patient’s life. According to a research study conducted by the National Institute of Health;
“Limb amputation induces several limitations in performing professional, leisure and social activities. It disturbs the integrity of the human body and lowers the quality of life due to reduced mobility, pain and physical integrity. Patients are affected psychologically and socially. Psychological issues range from depression, anxiety and to suicide in severe cases. The loss of body part also affects the perception of someone’s own body and its appearance.”
While the wound from an amputation can take sometime to heal, recovery might involve long-term rehabilitation and adjusting to life with a prostheses or artificial limb. Some people with limb amputation a “phantom pain” , or a sense of pain in the removed limb. Many people find it difficult to cope with the discomfort and the loss of independence that may accompany an amputation.
At USA Vascular Centers we offer minimally invasive and non-surgical treatments for peripheral artery disease, performed as an outpatient procedure. Treatments at USA Vascular Centers are covered by Medicare and most insurance plans.
If you are suffering from symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) call (888) 628 9389 to schedule a consultation with our leading vascular specialists.
Don’t lose a limb to PAD!