Peripheral Artery Disease 

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) refers to the narrowing of the “peripheral” arteries, which are blood vessels in the legs, arms, stomach and head. It is caused by a buildup of cholesterol and scar tissue on the walls of the artery which forms a substance known as plaque. The plaque builds up gradually and over time it will clog the artery, restricting the flow of blood. In some cases, PAD may be caused by blood clots that break free from within larger arteries and get lodged in narrower arteries, which reduces blood flow.

PAD is most often diagnosed within the legs. Left untreated, it can lead to painful cramping, limited mobility, amputation, gangrene, infection and even death. Fortunately, there are several highly effective treatment options if PAD is detected early.

Treatment options

If the disease is not severe, PAD can be treated with medication and/or lifestyle changes. If it has progressed to the point where an intervention is needed, there are several procedures available for you and your doctor to consider.

The Interventional Radiologists at IHS offer minimally invasive treatments for PAD that do not require open surgery. In addition, patients will experience a faster recovery period with less downtime. Our treatments include:

Angioplasty | At the site of the blockage within the artery, a tiny balloon is inserted and inflated to open the blood vessel.

Stents | A stent is a small metal “scaffold” that is inserted into the site of the blockage to open the blood vessel and keep it open.

Catheter-Directed Thrombolysis | If the blockage in the blood vessel is caused by a clot, a special drug known as a “clot buster” is used. This effectively dissolves the clot to restore normal blood flow.

Atherectomy | An alternative to angioplasty, this procedure is a technique for removing plaque from the blood vessel with a catheter and sharp blade.

Think you might have PAD? Take our simple quiz to learn more.

Take our IHS PAD Survey

What is your age?
How would you describe your weight?
Select your ethnicity
Do you smoke?
How often do you exercise?
Do you have cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure or cholesterol levels?
Do you have a family history of cardiovascular disease?
Do you have diabetes?
Does anyone in your immediate family (parent, sibling) have diabetes?
Do you have any pain, aching, cramping or tingling in your legs when you walk or exercise that goes away when you are resting?
Do you have pain in your feet or toes at night?
Do you have any sores or wounds on your feet or legs that are slow to heal?
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