Peripheral artery disease is a circulatory problem where narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to the limbs. When peripheral artery disease develops, your legs and arms, mostly the legs, do not receive enough blood to cope with the demand. It can cause symptoms such as claudication. You should contact a vein specialist in Yonkers if you have this symptom and discuss your treatment option.
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Some tests that a doctor relies on to diagnose peripheral artery disease (PAD) are:
The doctor can find PAD signs when performing a physical exam, such as an absent or weak pulse below the narrow area of the artery, evidence of poor wound healing where blood flow is restricted, whooshing sounds that can be heard with a stethoscope, and decreased blood pressure on the left limb.
Ankle brachial index (ABI)
ABI is a common test used to diagnose PAD. It compares the blood pressure in the arm with the blood pressure in your ankle. The doctor uses a special ultrasound device and regular blood pressure cuff to evaluate blood flow and pressure to get a blood pressure reading.
This test allows the doctor to view blood flow through your arteries because it uses a dye injected into the blood vessels. The doctor traces the dye’s flow using imaging techniques like magnetic resonance angiography, X-rays, and computerized tomography angiography.
Catheter angiography is a surgical procedure involving guiding a hollow tube through an artery to the affected area and injecting the dye. This angiography allows the doctor to treat a blood vessel that is blocked while giving the diagnosis.
Many people with PAD have no or mild symptoms, some have leg pain when walking. Leg pain symptoms include cramping or muscle pain in the arms or legs triggered by activities like walking but go away after some rest minutes. Where the pain is located depends on the location of the narrowed or clogged artery. The most common location is calf pain.
The severity of leg pain varies from mild to debilitating pain. Severe leg pain or claudication can make it difficult for you to walk or do physical activities. PAD signs and symptoms include leg numbness, color change on the legs, slow growth of toenails, erectile dysfunction in men, and painful cramping in your thighs and hips.
PAD is usually caused by atherosclerosis. This is when fatty deposits build up on the artery walls, and blood flow is reduced. Although atherosclerosis focuses on the heart, the disease affects the arteries throughout the body. If it occurs in arteries that supply blood to your limbs, it causes peripheral artery disease.
The cause of peripheral artery disease, although not common, can be an injury to your limbs, blood vessel inflammation, radiation exposure, and unusual anatomy of muscles or ligaments.
Peripheral artery disease increases the risk of a stroke or heart attack, so it must be diagnosed early. Premier Vascular has an expert who treats PAD with minimally invasive procedures to stabilize blood flow. You should book an appointment with them today for more treatments and learn how to prevent the condition.