Vascular Services

What is Peripheral Vascular Disease (PAD)?

We specialize in the treatment of peripheral vascular disease, clearing blockages and restoring circulation, even with the most challenging of cases. Our experts are saving lives and limbs.

Peripheral vascular disease (PAD) is a common circulatory problem where narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to your arms or legs (usually your legs).  This narrowing prevents your legs from receiving enough blood flow to keep up with your body’s demands.  PAD is often caused by a build up of fatty deposits (plaque) in the walls of the artery that reduces blood flow.  PAD may also be a sign of a more widespread narrowing of your arteries causing reduced blood flow to your heart and brain.

What are the symptoms of PAD?

Some people with PAD have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. Those who do experience symptoms typically complain of leg pain while walking, or muscle pain and cramping in the legs or arms that is triggered with activity and disappears while at rest.

Symptoms of PAD include:

  • Intermittent leg pain (claudication)
  • Leg numbness or weakness
  • Coldness in your leg or foot (especially compared to the other leg)
  • Sores on your toes, feet or legs that don’t heal
  • A change in the color of your legs
  • Hair loss or slow hair growth on your feet or legs
  • Slower growth of your toenails
  • No pulse or weak pulse in your legs or feet
  • Erectile dysfunction in men
 

What are the risk factors for PAD?

Factors that increase your risk of PAD are:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Increasing age
  • Family history
 

How do I find out if I have PAD?

The best method to test for PAD is to have a physical exam by our doctor and an Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI). This test uses sound waves to detect if there is reduced blood flow in the arteries. ABI also compares the blood pressure in your ankle with the blood pressure in your arm.
 
Other tests include special ultrasounds, blood tests and angiography (injecting a dye into your blood vessels and taking x-ray images to check for narrowing or blockage of the blood vessels).