What is peripheral artery disease?
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a common medical condition that occurs when plaque buildup in the arteries causes a decrease in blood circulation. PAD usually restricts blood flow in the legs, feet, and toes, but it can affect arteries anywhere in your body.
The decreased circulation can cause leg pain with rest or exertion. You might also experience cramping, dry and discolored skin, wounds that won’t heal after a couple of weeks, aching pain, and a feeling of cold, numbness, heaviness, or weakness in the legs.
What are the risk factors for peripheral artery disease?
The risk factors for PAD include:
- Tobacco use
- Heart disease
- High cholesterol
- Being over age 50
- High blood pressure
PAD can lead to foot and leg sores. If left untreated, these sores might not heal properly and might become infected and necessitate amputation, or critical limb ischemia (CLI) in severe cases. PAD is also associated with an increased risk of heart disease and restricted blood flow to the heart can lead to angina and heart attacks.
What are the treatments for peripheral artery disease?
Dr. Shah devises customized treatment plans and offers a range of effective treatments for PAD, including:
- Physical rehabilitation
- Supervised walking therapy
- Lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise
- Minimally invasive procedures to open blockages when necessary
Dr. Shah first assesses your condition based on your symptoms, medical and family history, and other factors. He typically begins with lifestyle approaches, such as diet and exercise, and utilizes other treatments when needed. A healthy lifestyle with stress-relief, regular exercise, and a nutrient-dense diet can aid in the management and prevention of PAD.
It’s important to remember that a minimally invasive treatment to restore blood flow to your legs can help to save your legs and feet and prevent amputation. For most minimally invasive procedures you can return home on the same day. Dr. Shah offers effective minimally invasive treatments, such as:
- Atherectomy – a procedure to remove plaque from the artery
- Stent – where a metal scaffold is used to help keep an artery open
- Balloon angioplasty – where a small tube is placed in your blood vessel like an IV to flatten the blockage to the sides and increase blood flow
Dr. Shah specializes in preventing amputations. If you have symptoms or concerns about peripheral artery disease, visit Dr. Shah for compassionate care. Call or schedule your personal consultation online.