Peripheral Arterial Disease

Vascular Access Centers

Vascular Medicine located in Memphis, TN

Peripheral arterial disease, or PAD, is a condition that can cause significant life-changing complications, including loss of limbs or death. Vascular Access Centers of Memphis and East Memphis specialize in treating this disease — the result of clogged arteries that prevent blood from reaching your tissues. Call or book your appointment online today with Vascular Access Centers of Memphis and East Memphis.

Peripheral Arterial Disease Q & A

What is peripheral arterial disease (PAD)?

PAD is a disorder in which your arteries in your arms and legs become clogged, blocking blood flow to the tissues. This lack of blood flow can have significant complications, including the loss of your limbs.

Most often, PAD affects the lower extremities and is caused when fatty deposits build up in the blood vessels. The buildup of the fatty deposits, or plaque, is called atherosclerosis; its presence usually means all the blood vessels in your body are affected, not just the legs or arms.

When blood flow is blocked and oxygen and other vital nutrients don’t reach your extremities, the tissues begin to die. If left untreated, amputation may be necessary. PAD patients are also at significantly elevated risk for stroke and heart attack.

What are the symptoms of PAD?

Many who have PAD do not have symptoms. Because atherosclerosis is a gradual process, and the buildup of plaque happens over time, it is important to get yearly physical exams by your primary care physician to determine your risk for PAD. A check of your cholesterol, which causes the plaque, is particularly important.

If PAD does produce symptoms, you may experience:

  • Leg pain during activities, which subsides when you stop the activity
  • Numbness, coldness, or tingling in lower legs and feet
  • Ulcers or sores that don’t heal on your legs or feet
  • Erectile dysfunction (men)
  • Leg pain at rest that awakens you
  • Slow-growing leg hair or toenails
  • Weak pulse in your legs or feet
  • Shiny or discolored leg skin


Your risk of developing PAD increases dramatically if your symptoms accompany other high risk comorbidities like diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. Smoking and a family history also increase your risk, along with carrying excess weight.

If you experience these symptoms, or think you may be at risk, it is important that you are evaluated by a vascular specialist for PAD to lower your risk of serious complications.

How is PAD treated?

Vascular Access Centers of Memphis and East Memphis have instituted a program known as Health Evaluations for Limb Preservation, or H.E.L.P., which encourages proactive evaluation before a surgical treatment is necessary. As such, the best way to prevent and slow the progression of PAD is to maintain healthy habits, including:

  • Quit smoking
  • Eat healthy
  • Exercise

 

If you have been diagnosed with PAD, Vascular Access Centers of Memphis and East Memphis offer comprehensive therapeutic treatments. They are:

Angioplasty

This procedure utilizes a balloon inside the clogged vessel to push aside the blockage and reopen the blood flow.

Stenting

A vascular specialist may enter a mesh framework called a stent into the affected artery to keep it open.

Atherectomy

This procedure removes the blockage from inside the vessel, allowing blood to start flowing again.

The team of specialists at Vascular Access Centers is available to determine your risk, and help you avoid amputation or other complications of PAD.

For treatment of PAD, call or book your appointment online today with Vascular Access Centers of Memphis and East Memphis.

For more information, please visit our main site.