Peripheral Arterial Disease

What is Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a term used to describe the buildup of cholesterol and calcium (plaque) in the arteries supplying blood to the arms and legs.  This plaque causes narrowing of the vessels and decreases the amount of blood that is getting to the legs.  PAD is a very serious condition which is associated with increased risk of heart attack and stroke as well as amputation.

blood cells traveling through vein
peripheral arterial disease PAD defined

How do I know if I have PAD?

Many people with PAD may have no symptoms at all but may have subtle signs of underlying problems such as decreased hair and nail growth or skin discoloration. Others may experience pain, numbness or burning in the legs and feet, especially with activity.  In severe circumstances, the decreased blood flow can lead to non-healing leg or foot wounds and even amputation.  A number of non-invasive studies can be performed for diagnosis including arterial US and CT angiography. 

How is PAD treated?

If diagnosed early, PAD and its symptoms can often-times be managed with a combination of lifestyle modification, medication, and exercise.  In cases of severe arterial blockage, intervention may be warranted to remove plaque and re-establish blood flow to the limbs. 

Dr. Ahmed underwent intensive vascular training at Harvard University’s world-renowned Massachusetts General Hospital and has treated hundreds of PAD patients in the Front Range over the last 7 years.  At APEX Endovascular, we use the most cutting edge, minimally invasive procedures including angiography, balloon angioplasty, atherectomy and stent placement to re-establish blood flow to the legs in a safe and comfortable outpatient setting. The procedures are performed through a tiny nick in the skin with minimal “twilight” sedation with no need for general anesthesia.  Patients go home the same day and can return to normal activities within 1-2 days.

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