An estimated 10% of people in the United States have peripheral artery disease (PAD), many of whom get symptoms in their legs. At Metroview Vascular & Surgical in Charlotte and Gastonia, North Carolina, vascular surgeon Augustine Eze, MD, FACS, can diagnose PAD with or without symptoms, and help you develop a treatment plan to avoid complications. To find out more about PAD and treatments for it, call Metroview Vascular & Surgical or book an appointment online today.
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a group of conditions affecting the arteries outside of your heart and outside of your brain. The most common cause is plaque, or fat deposits, building-up on the inside of your arteries, which constricts them. Narrow arteries raise your blood pressure and make it harder for blood to flow through them.
When your arteries become narrow, blood has a hard time getting to the muscles and organs that need it. Peripheral artery disease restricts blood flow to places like your arms, legs, stomach, and kidneys.
There are several risk factors for peripheral artery disease. You can’t always prevent it, but you should keep a close eye on your arterial health if you:
If you don’t yet have peripheral artery disease but are at risk, Dr. Eze might encourage you to reduce the amount of sodium in your diet, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, stop smoking, and exercise more often.
Peripheral artery disease doesn’t always come with symptoms. Half of everyone who has it has no idea that they do. If you have symptoms, many of them affect your legs. For example, peripheral artery disease can cause:
For men, peripheral artery disease can be a major contributor to erectile dysfunction. If you have severe symptoms from peripheral artery disease in your legs and don’t seek treatment, you might eventually require amputation as treatment.
Peripheral artery disease treatment primarily involves lifestyle changes. Dr. Eze asks about your current lifestyle and habits to form a personalized treatment plan addressing each of your needs.
If your peripheral artery disease isn’t manageable with dietary changes, physical activity, and smoking cessation alone, Dr. Eze might recommend blood-thinning medications or drugs that control your cholesterol.
For cases in which surgery is necessary, Dr. Eze might recommend balloon angioplasty. During balloon angioplasty surgery, he inserts a catheter into your narrow artery and inflates a small balloon through it. The balloon widens your artery to encourage improved blood flow.
To find out if you have peripheral artery disease and if it requires treatment, call Metroview Vascular & Surgical or book your appointment online today.