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Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a fairly common circulatory problem in which your peripheral arteries – those located further from the heart – are narrowed or completely blocked. These blockages are caused by atherosclerosis, which is a buildup of plaque within the walls of the arteries in our body.

Symptoms of PAD

When a person develops peripheral artery disease, the extremities — usually the legs — don’t receive enough blood flow to keep up with the body’s needs. You may have PAD and not know it – as with many conditions, sometimes there are no symptoms. But PAD might be the problem if you notice the following issues:

  • Pain or cramping when walking (intermittent claudication)
  • Feeling cold in only one leg or foot
  • Weakness or numbness in the leg
  • Ulcers on the legs or feet that won’t heal

Peripheral artery disease is a precursor to both heart attacks and strokes, so you should always take your symptoms seriously.

Risk Factors for PAD

It is estimated that nearly 9 million people in the U.S. suffer from PAD, and of that number, about 12-20 percent are adults over the age of 60. However, there are other risk factors besides age. Since PAD is caused by atherosclerosis, the best way to avoid both is through maintaining a healthy lifestyle. High cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes are all causes of atherosclerosis and PAD, so by exercising and eating better, you can help reduce or eliminate most of those risk factors.

Treating PAD

Clearing the path for blood flow can be done through several different invasive procedures depending on your condition. At Southern Vascular Clinic, Dr. Ghanami performs the following procedures:

  • Hybrid Procedures – Incorporates both surgical intervention and minimally invasive advanced techniques
  • Endovascular Atherectomy – The removal of hardened plaque within the arteries by either laser or mechanical device
  • Drug Eluting Ballon Angioplasty – Use of balloon angioplasty to widen arteries filled with plaque and increase blood flow
  • Stent Placement – Stents are used help hold open an artery so that blood can flow through the blocked or clogged artery
  • Traditional Surgical Bypass – Surgical rerouting of blood flow around an obstructed artery that supplies blood to the extremities

PAD is a condition that if left untreated, can lead to serious health conditions. Even if you don’t show any signs of peripheral artery disease, you should come in for a complimentary screening with Dr. Ghanami. Call Southern Vascular Clinic today at 337-534-4444 to schedule an appointment.