Ferncreek Cardiology, PA
Cardiology located in Fayetteville, NC
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) builds up gradually over many years, often reaching an advanced stage before causing symptoms that clue you in to the problem. At Ferncreek Cardiology, PA, Manesh Thomas, MD, FACC, FSCAI, Matthew Daka, MD, FACC, FSCAI, and Selveratnam Sinna, MD, have extensive experience treating PAD, but they prefer to help you prevent artery problems by performing risk assessments and screening for blockages. To learn if you’re at risk for PAD, call the office in Fayetteville, North Carolina, or schedule an appointment online today.
Peripheral Artery Disease Q & A
What causes peripheral artery disease?
Peripheral artery disease or PAD develops when cholesterol attaches to the artery wall, a condition called atherosclerosis. Without treatment, the fatty plaque enlarges and hardens. The larger it gets, the more it restricts blood flow in the artery.
What symptoms develop if I have peripheral artery disease?
Though PAD can develop in any of the arteries carrying oxygen-rich blood throughout your body, it most often affects your legs.
Symptoms usually don’t appear until the plaque blocks about 60% of the artery. Then you experience:
- Leg pain when walking that improves with rest
- Leg fatigue or weakness
- One foot colder than the other
- Shiny skin on the affected leg
- Non-healing ulcers on your lower leg and foot
As PAD progresses, the plaque causes such a blockage that the tissues the artery serves can’t get enough oxygen and nutrients. The loss of oxygen leads to non-healing ulcers and, ultimately, to tissue death and gangrene.
How is peripheral artery disease diagnosed?
Ferncreek Cardiology, PA, evaluates your risk of developing peripheral artery disease, learns about your symptoms, examines your legs, and completes diagnostic tests such as:
- Blood tests
- Ankle-brachial index (ABI) test
- Six-minute walking test
- Doppler ultrasound
After determining the location of the plaque and the severity of the arterial blockage, your provider develops a customized treatment plan.
How is peripheral artery disease treated?
Your treatment focuses on lifestyle changes and/or medications that treat PAD, as well as diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol. These chronic diseases cause and accelerate the progression of atherosclerosis.
If you have a moderate or severe blockage, your provider recommends one of the following minimally invasive procedures to reopen the artery and restore normal blood flow:
Balloon angioplasty and stenting
Your Ferncreek Cardiology, PA, provider makes a tiny cut and inserts a catheter into a blood vessel. Using real-time imaging, they guide the catheter to the blockage in your leg and inflate a balloon.
The balloon restores circulation by pushing the plaque against the artery wall. Your provider may also implant a tube-like mesh stent. The stent stays in the artery, holding it open and preventing a future blockage.
When the plaque is too hard for angioplasty, your provider performs an atherectomy. This procedure uses a catheter with a device that shaves or grinds away the plaque.
If you struggle with leg pain or develop other signs of peripheral artery disease, call Ferncreek Cardiology, PA, or book an appointment online today.