More than 8.5 million people in the United States have peripheral artery disease (PAD), many of whom don’t realize it. PAD can cause serious long-term complications if not diagnosed and treated. The top-rated team of cardiologists at Chinatown Cardiology, with locations in the Chinatown section of New York City and Brooklyn and Flushing, New York, have helped countless patients suffering from PAD.
PAD is a hardening and narrowing of the arteries. It can occur in any artery, but it is most common in those that carry blood to the legs. It occurs as a result of plaque build-up clogging the arteries and restricting blood flow, a condition known as atherosclerosis. PAD increases your risk for having a heart attack or stroke and often goes undiagnosed until it causes these or other problems.
Though 40 percent of people with PAD do not experience symptoms, those who do generally feel leg numbness, cramping, pain or weakness. Other symptoms can include weakness or wounds on the feet or legs that heal slowly, or not at all. Erectile dysfunction is also a red flag that a man may have PAD. Anyone who has these symptoms should seek an evaluation by a board certified cardiologist.
During a physical examination, the doctor will look for signs such as a weak or absent artery pulse in the extremities, or specific sounds (called bruits) via a stethoscope. He or she will also likely check for changes in blood pressure in the limbs by comparing a blood pressure reading of the brachial artery in the ankle with that or the radial artery in the right arm. Changes in skin and nail changes due to insufficient blood supply (ischemia) will also be checked for. A variety of tests can help diagnosed PAD, as well. These are:
Treatment may include:
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