Peripheral Artery Disease & Peripheral Vascular Disease Doctors in NYC
What is peripheral leg artery disease?
Peripheral artery disease (PAD), also referred to as peripheral vascular disease (PVD), is a circulatory condition in which narrowed or constricted arteries disrupt blood flow to parts of your body, mainly the legs.
What causes peripheral leg artery disease?
Peripheral artery disease is usually the caused by what is known as atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is when fatty deposits, known as plaques, collect and situate in your artery walls. As the fatty deposits continue to accumulate in the artery walls, it can force your arteries to tighten, restricting or blocking the path for blood to flow through. Certain factors that may put you at risk for peripheral leg artery disease include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Aging, primarily age 50 and older
- Having a family member who has peripheral artery disease or heart disease
- Having a family member who has had a stroke
- Above normal levels of homocysteine, a tissue-building protein
What are the symptoms of peripheral leg artery disease?
Most of the time, symptoms of peripheral leg artery disease will remain mild or sometimes unnoticeable. However, as the condition progresses and your legs receive less blood, certain symptoms may begin to present themselves. Symptoms of peripheral leg artery disease may include:
- Claudication (pain when walking or engaging other activities)
- Weakness or numbness in your legs
- Affected areas of the leg become cold in comparison to surrounding areas
- Sores of the legs that are not healing
- Skin on your legs becomes discolored
- Hair loss or delayed hair growth of the legs
- Skin on your legs becomes glossy
- Weak or no pulse in your legs
How is peripheral leg artery disease diagnosed?
Your doctor may run various tests in order to diagnose peripheral artery disease. Tests for diagnosing PAD may include:
- Physical exam
- Ankle-brachial index
- Blood tests
Can peripheral leg artery disease lead to complications if left untreated?
If left untreated, peripheral leg artery disease may lead to certain complications. Certain cases of peripheral leg artery may lead to infections, such as gangrene. Severe cases of gangrene may require amputation of the infected limb. Peripheral artery disease may also lead to a stroke or heart attack.
How is peripheral leg artery disease treated?
Treatment for peripheral artery disease is centered around PAD symptom management and prevention of disease progression. Treatments for PAD range from conservative to surgical treatment options. Peripheral artery treatment options include:
- Supervised exercise program
- Medications that treat high cholesterol
- Medications that treat high blood pressure
- Medications that control blood sugar
- Medications that aid in blood clot prevention
- Medications for symptom relief
- Bypass surgery
- Thrombolytic therapy
Certain behavior modifications and lifestyle changes may help with PAD symptom management and prevention of disease progression. Adjustments that may help improve your outcomes include:
- Quitting smoking
- Maintaining a healthy diet
- Avoiding certain cold medications
- Maintaining appropriate foot care
Speak with your doctor to learn more about the available treatment options for chronic venous insufficiency.
Our heart and vein doctors at Heart Vein NYC have over 20 years of experience providing the New York City area with comprehensive,