Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a condition where the arteries in your lower extremities become narrow or blocked.
Atherosclerosis is a common cause of PAD and occurs when excess fat and cholesterol build up and harden on the wall of your arteries. Blood can’t flow properly through narrowed arteries, so your risk for developing more serious complications like coronary artery disease increases.
You may also be at higher risk for heart attack and stroke because of PAD. These conditions can lead to long-term complications and premature death.
Unmanaged high cholesterol can lead to atherosclerosis which increases your risk for peripheral arterial disease.
Your age can also play a role in your risk for PAD. As you get older, your blood vessels become less flexible. These age-related changes can cause narrowing in your arteries and block blood flow.
Other common causes of peripheral arterial disease include smoking, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Signs you might have PAD include leg cramping and pain with physical activity. You might also notice visible changes in your leg, such as:
If you have any of these symptoms, you should schedule a diagnostic evaluation at Cary Cardiology, P.A.
The providers at Cary Cardiology, P.A., offer on-site testing for PAD including Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI).
This non-invasive test measures the blood pressure in your ankles at rest and after exercise. Your provider will compare the measurement with the blood pressure in your arms.
You might also need diagnostic imaging tests like an ultrasound or computed tomography (CT) angiography to determine how advanced your condition is.
Your cardiologist customizes a treatment plan to help you better manage your cholesterol and high blood pressure. This plan might include medications and lifestyle changes. The providers also offer resources to help you quit smoking.
If medications aren’t enough to unblock your arteries, you might need surgery. Your physician can discuss your options for the surgical treatment of peripheral arterial disease, if necessary, to prevent stroke and heart attack.
To schedule a diagnostic evaluation for peripheral arterial disease, call the Cary Cardiology, P.A., office nearest you or book a consultation online today.