Peripheral Arterial Disease

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 What is peripheral arterial disease (PAD)?
 What are the symptoms of PAD?
 What causes PAD?
 Why does PAD occur?
 What can be done to stop the progression of PAD?
 How is PAD treated?
 How do I know which treatment will be bets for me?
 What is an interventional radiologist?
 
     
 
Q What is peripheral arterial disease?
Ans. Peripheral arterial disease, or PAD, is a condition in which the arteries that carry blood to the arms or legs become narrowed or clogged, slowing or stopping the flow of blood.

Q. What are the symptoms of PAD?
Ans. The most common symptom of PAD is pain in the leg, particularly when walking. Other symptoms may include numbness, tingling, and weakness in the leg. In severe cases. patients may develop an ulcer, or sore on the leg or foot that doesn't heal. If left untreated, ulcers can become infected. In extreme cases, untreated PAD can lead to gangrene, a serious condition that may require amputation of a leg or a foot.
 
   

 
  Q. What causes PAD?
Ans. PAD is caused by atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Atherosclerosis is a gradual process in which cholesterol and scar tissue build up inside the artery, forming a substance called "plaque" that clogs the artery. PAD symptoms also can develop when a blood clot forms in the artery. 
 
   

 
 

Q. Why does PAD occur?
Ans. It is not known for certain why PAD occurs. Factors that contribute to the disease include smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, a family history of heart or vascular disease, or being overweight.

 
 

 
 

Q. What can be done to stop the progression of PAD?
Ans. In some cases, PAD can be successfully controlled by certain lifestyle changes, such as exercise programs and dieting to lose weight and lower blood cholesterol. The single most important thing you can do to slow PAD is to stop smoking.      

 
   

 
 

Q. How is PAD treated?
A. When lifestyle changes alone are not enough to control the symptoms of PAD, there are a number of treatment options, including:
Angioplasty: In this procedure, an interventional radiologist inserts a very small balloon attached to a thin tube (catheter) into a blood vessel through a small nick in the skin. The catheter is threaded under X-ray guidance to the site of the blocked artery. The balloon is inflated to open the artery. In some cases, a tiny metal cylinder, or stent, is left behind in the artery to keep it open.

  Angioplasty
 
     
 
Thrombolytic therapy : This treatment is used by an interventional radiologist if the blockage in the artery is caused by a blood clot. Thrombolytic drugs- sometimes called clot- busting drugs- dissolve the clot and restore blood flow. Usually the drugs are administered through a catheter directly into the clot. These drugs are frequently combined with another treatment, such as angioplasty.
 
 

Bypass grafts : In this procedure, a vein graft from another part of the body or a graft made from artificial material is used to create a detour around the blocked artery. Bypass grafts typically require surgery, but other ways of placing the grafts without major surgery are now being developed.

Thrombectomy
: This procedure is used only when symptoms of PAD develop suddenly as the result of a blood clot. In the technique, a balloon catheter  is inserted into the affected artery above the clot. The balloon is inflated and pulled back, bringing the clot with it. Thrombectomy usually is performed as an open surgical procedure. prevent blood clots or the build-up of plaque in the arteries, or that reduce the pain of PVD during exercise, also are available. 

 
   

 
 
Q. How do I know which treatment will be best for me?
A. The best treatment for PAD depends on a number of factors, including your overall health, the location of the affected artery, and the size and nature of the blockage or narrowing in the artery.
 
   

 
 
Q.What is an interventional radiologist?
A. Interventional radiologists are physicians who have special training to diagnose and treat conditions using tiny, miniaturized tools while watching their progress on X-ray or other imaging equipment. Typically, the interventional radiologist performs procedures through a very small nick in the skin, about the size of a pencil tip. Interventional radiology treatments are generally easier for patients than surgery because they involve no surgical incision, less pain and shorter hospital stays. Your interventional radiologist will work closely with your primary care or other physician to be sure you receive the best possible care.