PAD Treatment Steps
- Call to schedule a consultation: During your consultation you will be able to ask questions and be answered by a medical professional. This step will help you make an informed decisions in regards to your vascular health. Call 727-475-4039
- Day of consultation: Please arrive 20 minutes before your appointment to fill out necessary paperwork and a health questionnaire. Bring any patient history such as diagnostic imaging and notes from your primary care doctor. During your consultation you will be able to ask questions plus get knowledgeable information to help you make an informed and educated decision.
- Return for Ultrasound: You will return for an Ultrasound if you have not already had one. The test will be performed here in our office. An Ultrasound will provide us with images from your veins and arteries testing for proper blood flow.
- The day of your procedure: If it is determined that further treatment is necessary, you will return for an outpatient procedure. Please arrive 20 minutes before your appointment time to fill out additional paperwork and to go over simple instructions for your return home. Our interventional treatments are a same day procedures, so you will be returning home that day. Please be sure to have someone with you.
If you are at risk of (PAD) Peripheral Arterial Disease, it’s recommended to get a vascular screening every year!
PAD stands for Peripheral Artery Disease which is a condition where deposits, called calcium or plaque, build up over time on the inside walls of the arteries in your legs. This build up causes the arteries to narrow, reducing blood flow to the legs and feet.
Lifestyle Changes Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) can be treated with lifestyle changes. Smoking cessation and a structured exercise program are often all that is needed to alleviate symptoms and prevent further progression of the disease.
Medications that lower cholesterol or control high blood pressure may be prescribed. Medication also is available that been shown to significantly increase pain-free walking distance and total walking distance in individuals with intermittent claudication. Other medications that prevent blood clots or the buildup of plaque in the arteries are available as well.
Step 1 PAD Screening: Is a quick, easy and non-invasive test that starts with a visual and verbal screening.
Step 2 ABI Testing: Also called Ankle-Brachial Index test, is a test which compares the blood pressure in your ankles to the blood pressures in your arms. It is a safe and painless test that helps your physician determine if your legs are getting the proper amount of blood supply.
Step 3 Ultrasound: An ultrasound is a procedure that uses sound waves to “see” inside your body. An arterial duplex ultrasound uses sound waves to create a color map of the arteries in your leg(s) to identify narrowing of your vessels that may be causing leg pain when walking, resting leg pain, foot, ankle, heel or toe ulcers, or skin discoloration. Coastal Vascular Specialists is a division of Advanced Imaging and Interventional Institute, which offers an expert team of physicians, nurses and technologists who are highly trained in ultrasound imaging.
Step 4 Angiography/Angiogram: An angiogram is an imaging test that uses x-rays to view your body’s blood vessels. Physicians often use this test to study narrow, blocked, enlarged, or malformed arteries or veins in many parts of your body, including your brain, heart, abdomen, and legs. When the arteries are studied, the test is also called an arteriogram. If the veins are studied, it is called a venogram.
To create the x-ray images, your physician will inject a liquid, sometimes called “dye”, through a thin, flexible tube, called a catheter. He or she threads the catheter into the desired artery or vein from an access point. The access point is usually in your groin but it can also be in your arm or, less commonly, a blood vessel in another location. This “dye, ” properly called contrast, makes the blood flowing inside the blood vessels visible on an x-ray. The contrast is later eliminated from your body through your kidneys and your urine.
Step 5 Angioplasty and Stenting: Interventional radiologists pioneered angioplasty and stenting, which was first performed to treat peripheral arterial disease. Using imaging for guidance, the interventional radiologist threads a catheter through the femoral artery in the groin, to the blocked artery in the legs. Then the interventional radiologist inflates a balloon to open the blood vessel where it is narrowed or blocked. In some cases this is then held open with a stent, a tiny metal cylinder. This is a minimally invasive treatment that does not require surgery, just a nick in the skin the size of a pencil tip. Balloon angioplasty and stenting have generally replaced invasive surgery as the first-line treatment for PAD. Early randomized trials have shown interventional therapy to be as effective as surgery for many arterial occlusions, and in the past years, a very large clinical experience in centers throughout the world has shown that stenting and angioplasty are preferred as a first-line treatment for more and more processes throughout the body. Stent-grafts, a stent covered with synthetic fabric may be inserted into the blood vessels to bypass diseased arteries.
Step 6 Atherectomy: This treatment is usually performed at the same time as the Angioplasty and Stenting process. A tiny catheter is inserted into the artery at the site of blockage that is able to “shave” or “cut” the plaque from the inside of the artery and remove it from the patient.
Step 7 Surgery: Sometimes, open surgery is required to remove blockages from arteries or to bypass the clogged area. These procedures are performed by vascular surgeons.
Here’s a helpful article from the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Click Here!
Are You at Risk for Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)? Contact Coastal Vascular Specialists at 727-475-4039 for a consultation in our Clearwater Florida office