What is peripheral artery disease, or PAD?

a middle-aged man jogging in the park. At the Metropolitan Vascular Institute, patients in the Waldorf, MD can obtain the care they need for vascular concerns. When conditions like Peripheral Artery Disease develop, patients need to get a definitive diagnosis and seek effective treatment before the condition worsens, Peripheral Artery Disease, or PAD, affects both adult men and women and requires treatment to avoid serious consequences. 

What is Peripheral Artery Disease? 

The team at Metropolitan Vascular Institute describe Peripheral Artery Disease, sometimes shortened to PAD, as the blockage of arteries in the body outside of the heart. The blockages may occur due to plaque buildup that restricts blood flow and oxygen to the rest of the body. It can be caused by a variety of common medical conditions and nutritional concerns, including: 

  •         Diabetes
  •         Unmanaged high blood pressure and cholesterol
  •         History of strokes or heart attacks
  •         Patients over the age of 40

How do I know if I have Peripheral Artery Disease?

Knowing the symptoms of PAD is one way to be fully aware of what is happening and seeking medical attention when it develops. Below are just a few of the symptoms a patient dealing with Peripheral Artery Disease may experience:

  •         Different temperatures in each leg
  •         Poor hair or nail growth on the lower extremities
  •         Changes in color of the feet, with a blue or pale appearance
  •         Wounds to feet that heal slower than other parts of the body
  •         Pain/discomfort in the feet and legs
  •         Fatigue in the muscles of the legs

What treatment options are available to patients who have been diagnosed with PAD?

The severity of PAD will determine the type of treatment a doctor recommends for patients who have been diagnosed. Some of the treatments may include the use of medications, such as those used to control blood sugars, cholesterol, and high blood pressure; thrombolytic therapy, which involves injecting a medication that dissolves plaque in the arteries; angioplasty, where a small catheter and balloon tip reopens the artery; atherectomy, a specialized device that removes calcium and plaque; or stent placement, which is placed to maintain the opening of the main arteries.

Do you suspect you may have Peripheral Artery Disease?

It is vital that patients who have PAD work directly with a physician to get a proper diagnosis and to seek treatment. Our professionals at the Metropolitan Vascular Institute have years of combined experience in providing vascular care to patients in and around the Waldorf, MD area. Call our facility at (301) 374-8540 to request an appointment with our team, conveniently located at 3015 Technology Place, Ste. #100.

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