BMN Blog

FEB 21

Peripheral arterial disease, or PAD, is a disease process in which plaque buildup causes the arteries to narrow, resulting in reduced blood flow to the limbs. This can lead to a variety of medical emergencies: Claudication, stroke, uncontrolled hypertension, and possibly amputation.

 

While patients are very attuned to issues with their heart, they often ignore symptoms associated with blockages in her legs. Classic symptoms for PAD involved leg fatigue, heaviness with exertion, poor wound healing, and/or gluteal pain. Patients often say that their calves hurt with different levels of exertion. Whether it's walking certain distances or going up stairs, they have to rest before they can proceed further. Physicians can diagnose PAD with the aid of simple, noninvasive tests.

 

In our office, we will typically do blood pressure measurements, arterial Dopplers or a CTA to help identify areas of concern which need to be addressed to help increase arterial flow. We usually begin treatment with medications and a walking regimen, but often require percutaneous or surgical options. Percutaneous, or catheter-based treatment, is now becoming the initial mode of invasive therapy for most lesions. With improvement in equipment and technique, we are able to treat a multitude of lesions once reserved for open bypass. Introduction of newer catheters allows us to access the radial and pedal arteries for our interventions, decreasing risks to the patient's and also improving patient comfort.

 

At HeartSouth, we have adopted these new techniques and have recently built our own outpatient procedural labso that we can provide the same services in an outpatient setting. Patients are able to be seen in a familiar environment and get their arteriograms/interventions done, with same-day discharges. The collaborative effort among the peripheral vascular team of nurses and doctors insures that our patients are able to avoid amputations and once again walk without pain or discomfort.

 

 

Munish Goyal, MD practices cardiology with Heart South Cardiovascular Group.

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