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Peripheral Artery Disease

Do you have leg pain when walking that goes away when you stop? You may have peripheral artery disease (PAD), which affects circulation in your peripheral arteries. At ARK Cardiovascular & Arrhythmia Center, the highly skilled team specializes in diagnosing and treating PAD. To find out what’s causing your leg pain, call the office in Dearborn, Detroit, or Trenton, Michigan, or schedule an appointment online today.

Peripheral Artery Disease Q & A

What is peripheral artery disease (PAD)?

PAD is narrowing or blockage in the peripheral arteries, which supply oxygen-rich blood to your arms and legs. This narrowing and blockage occurs because of a buildup of plaque along the blood vessel walls, a condition known as atherosclerosis.

PAD affects circulation and the delivery of oxygen-rich blood to your extremities. Though PAD may affect any peripheral artery, it most often occurs in the legs.

What are the symptoms of PAD?

PAD is a common condition. Recognizing the signs and symptoms may help you get the treatment you need. PAD increases your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

Common symptoms of PAD include:

  • Pain, achiness, or heaviness in your legs
  • Poor-healing leg sores or wounds
  • One leg feels colder than the other
  • Slow toenail or leg hair growth
  • Erectile dysfunction in men

The most common symptom of PAD is leg pain when walking or climbing stairs that goes away at rest. This symptom is known as claudication.

If you have this type of leg pain or any other symptoms of PAD, schedule a consultation at ARK Cardiovascular & Arrhythmia Center.

What happens during a PAD evaluation?

The ARK Cardiovascular & Arrhythmia Center team takes a patient-centered approach to care, and you can expect a thorough evaluation when you come in with concerns about PAD. 

The team asks detailed questions about your symptoms, medical history, and family history, and does a physical exam. They run tests, such as bloodwork, and an ankle brachial index (ABI), which compares blood pressure in your arm to the blood pressure in your leg.

To diagnose PAD, the team performs a vascular ultrasound at their diagnostic and imaging center in Trenton. This imaging test allows your cardiovascular specialist to see the movement of blood through your arteries, looking for areas of narrowing or blockage.

What are some treatments for PAD?

Treatment for your PAD depends on the severity of your disease. The goal of treatment is to prevent further narrowing or blockage and improve circulation through your arteries.

Your PAD treatment plan may include:

  • Heart-healthy diet
  • Exercise program
  • Weight loss
  • Medication to lower cholesterol
  • Medication to lower blood pressure

For severe blockages, the team at ARK Cardiovascular & Arrhythmia Center may recommend minimally invasive procedures to improve blood flow, such as a balloon angioplasty and stent placement (to widen the artery) or an atherectomy (to remove plaque from the artery).

Don’t ignore your leg pain. Call ARK Cardiovascular & Arrhythmia Center, or schedule a consultation online today.