Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is the narrowing of the arteries leading to the limbs due to blockages in the arteries caused by plaque buildup (atherosclerosis). The accumulation of plaque can be caused by smoking, obesity, diabetes or high blood pressure and cholesterol. When a blockage occurs, the arteries are unable to maintain a healthy flow of blood to the extremities. If left untreated, this increases the chances of heart attack, stroke and pain in the legs and feed, especially after walking.
Peripheral Artery Disease Symptoms and Diagnosis
Symptoms can vary from mild to severe, and many patients do not experience them. Most commonly, PAD is associated with pain in the lower extremities (intermittent claudication) often brought on by physical activity, as well as difficulty walking due to decreased circulation.
The condition is detected through a thorough physical examination done by your primary care or referring physician in combination with blood tests and specific imaging tests such as:
Treatment Options for Peripheral Artery Disease
NorthShore’s team of interventional radiologists provides treatment options that are alternatives to a major bypass surgery. Utilizing imaging technology, your physician will be able to perform a minimally invasive procedure with an incision smaller than the size of a paper cut to reopen clogged arteries, resupplying proper blood flow and restoring the arteries to their original condition. Procedures are performed without general anesthesia –instead under twilight anesthesia, so you will be relaxed, but conscious (the area of incision will be numbed). This approach reduces the risk of complications during the procedure, minimizes side effects and healing time and decreases the chances of scarring, allowing you to leave the hospital the same day that you had your treatment.
Our interventional radiology team uses advanced techniques to treat perihpheral artery disease including:
For More Information
To schedule an appointment with one of our interventional radiologists, please call 847.570.2638.