Peripheral Arterial Disease

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is narrowing or blockage of the arteries leading to decreased blood flow to your arms and legs. When a person develops peripheral arterial disease, their limbs don’t receive enough blood flow to keep up with demand. PAD usually occurs in the legs, and it can cause symptoms such as leg pain when walking.

Dr. Sun and our team diagnose and treat peripheral arterial disease for our patients from across the Dallas, TX area.

What is peripheral arterial disease?

Medical peripheral artery disease illustration
People who develop PAD commonly suffer from atherosclerosis, colloquially known as “hardening of the arteries.” This occurs when plaque (fatty material) builds up on the inner walls of the arteries. This narrows and clogs the arteries and decreases blood flow. In the legs, this can lead to pain and cramping when walking, and later can result in pain in the toes and feet when a person is resting. This is because the arteries are now unable to deliver enough blood to the feet. In its most advanced stage, this can lead into tissue necrosis, even possible amputation.

What are the common symptoms of peripheral arterial disease?

When a person develops peripheral artery disease, they may not have any symptoms, or have mild symptoms such as leg pain when walking, what is known as claudication.

Claudication symptoms include muscle pain or cramping in the legs or arms that is triggered by use of the limb, such as walking. The symptoms usually disappear after a few minutes of rest. The location of the pain depends on the location of the clogged or narrowed artery. Pain is most common in the calves.

The severity of the claudication can vary from mild discomfort to debilitating pain that keeps the person from doing things such as walking the dog.

Some symptoms associated with peripheral arterial disease:

  • Painful cramping in one or both of your hips, thighs, or calf muscles after certain activities, such as climbing stairs
  • Leg numbness
  • Leg weakness
  • Sores on your toes, feet, or legs that won’t heal
  • Coldness in your lower leg or foot, especially when contrasted with the other leg
  • Color change in your legs
  • Shiny skin on your legs
  • No pulse or a faint pulse in your legs or feet
  • Pain when using your arms, such as aching when writing or doing other movements with your hands

Some of these symptoms may indicate the patient is in danger of losing possible toes or even a foot. The blockage needs may need to be addressed.

Can peripheral arterial disease be treated in-office?

Most treatments for PAD, especially in the early stages, can be done in our specifically designed state-of-the-art in-office surgical suite in Dallas. The goal of treatments is twofold: to manage symptoms such as leg pain so the patient can resume activities, and to stop the progression of atherosclerosis throughout the body to lower risks of heart attack and stroke.

These goals may be achieved, particularly early in the progression of a patient’s PAD, in-office. At Sun Vein & Vascular, our in-office surgical suite makes it easy for patients to have their diagnostic tests run, reported, and treated all in one location.

The procedures that our in-office surgical suite perform include:

  • Vascular Ultrasound
  • Angiograms
  • Venograms
  • Angioplasty
  • Arterial Stenting
  • Atherectomy
  • Intravascular ultrasound.

What happens if I leave my peripheral artery disease untreated?

Once your arteries have narrowed due to atherosclerosis, there is the risk of developing more serious conditions:

  • Critical limb ischemia — This condition begins as open sores that won’t heal, an injury, or an infection of your feet or legs. Critical limb ischemia occurs when the injuries or infections progress and cause tissue death. This can lead to amputation.
  • Stroke and heart attack - If you have narrowing in your leg arteries, it’s likely not limited to your legs. Fat deposits also build up in arteries supplying your heart and brain, leading to strokes and heart attacks.

What’s the benefit of using the in-office surgical suite at Sun Vein & Vascular?

Dr. Sun has developed our in-office surgical suite capabilities to offer streamlined diagnosis and treatment for our patients. Patients can travel to a convenient location, be seen without a long wait, and be treated in a calm, friendly environment.

At Sun Vein & Vascular, we keep testing, diagnosis, and treatment in-office as much as possible. This simplifies things for our patients.

Schedule Your Appointment

For more information on peripheral arterial disease (PAD) or to schedule an appointment, call Sun Vein & Vascular today at (214) 556-8880 or click here to contact us online. Our practice serves Dallas, TX and the surrounding areas.

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