Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a build-up of plaque inside the arteries in the circulatory system. This narrowing typically affects the arteries feeding the heart, legs and neck, but the arms and other parts of the body can also be affected.
Symptoms of PAD include:
- Claudication (painful cramping)
- Cold feet
- Tingling sensation in the feet
- Rest pain (pain in the feet not associated with activity)
- Non-healing ulcers on the feet
You are more likely to develop PAD if:
- You smoke or chew tobacco.
- You have high cholesterol (also called hyperlipidemia).
- You have diabetes.
- You have a sedentary (non-active) lifestyle.
- You have a history of cardiac disease.
We diagnose peripheral artery disease using painless, non-invasive tests called the ankle-brachial index and vascular ultrasound, as well as minimally invasive diagnostic arteriography.
PAD is first treated using a nonsurgical procedure called a peripheral artery atherectomy. We believe in removing the plaque first (atherectomy) to best manage PAD. However, angioplasty and peripheral artery stenting are still an option for patients.
If you feel you are having a medical emergency, call 911.