If you experience unexplained pain in your legs, especially during physical activity, but the pain lets up when you rest, you could have peripheral artery disease (PAD).
This progressive condition affects an estimated 8-12 million adults in America, and if it’s left untreated, it can lead to serious complications, including infection, long-standing wounds, and amputation.
Cardiovascular physician Dr. Ayim Djamson and our team of highly trained professionals at Metropolitan Cardiovascular Consultants provide advanced treatments for patients with PAD and those at high risk of developing PAD.
Our experts have extensive experience in using the latest technology and innovative techniques to manage PAD in order to lower the risk of complications and improve the quality of our patients’ lives.
Peripheral artery disease 101
Your arteries are responsible for delivering oxygen-rich blood from your heart to the tissues throughout your body. Any damage or change to your arteries compromises your circulatory health.
PAD is characterized by arterial stiffening and narrowing that reduces blood flow to the extremities. A buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries (atherosclerosis) is the most common cause of PAD, and the risk increases with age.
The reduced blood flow robs your tissues of oxygen and blood, putting you at risk for serious complications.
What are the symptoms of peripheral artery disease?
Many people who have PAD have no symptoms. This is particularly true in the early stages of the disease. Those who do have symptoms are most likely to experience:
- Aching pain in the legs, thighs, or buttocks
- Bruises that are slow to heal
- Sores on the feet or legs
- Legs that feel heavy
- Numbness or weakness in the legs
- Burning sensation in the legs
- Leg cramps triggered by physical activity
Who gets peripheral artery disease?
Smoking is a major risk factor for PAD. The chemicals in tobacco damage blood vessels and promote atherosclerosis. Roughly 90% of patients with PAD have a history of smoking. Other risk factors are:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Family history of heart disease
- Lack of exercise
Lifestyle and dietary changes can reduce both the risk of developing PAD and the likelihood of complications in people who have it.
How is PAD diagnosed and treated?
If you have symptoms of PAD, Dr. Djamson might use a combination of diagnostic tests, such as:
- Ankle brachial index: Measures and compares the blood pressure in your ankle with the blood pressure in your arm.
- Angiography: An imaging test that allows Dr. Djamson to look at the blood flow in your arteries.
- Ultrasound: An imaging test that enables Dr. Djamson to check for blood flow problems.
Dr. Djamson takes a comprehensive approach to treating PAD to ensure the best possible care. We offer a full range of treatment options, including:
- Minimally invasive endovascular procedures
- Wound care
- Lifestyle changes
Restoring blood flow and preventing complications are the primary goals of treatment.
If you have symptoms of PAD, schedule a visit with Dr. Djamson for a comprehensive evaluation by calling or booking online. We have three locations in Beltsville, Bowie, and Columbia, Maryland. You can also send a message to Dr. Djamson and his team via our website.
PAD doesn’t get better on its own. Appropriate treatment will help you feel and function better as well as protect your circulatory health.