What is PAD?
Peripheral arterial disease occurs when fatty deposits called plaque clog the arteries supplying blood to your extremities, narrowing them and reducing the flow of blood. This process is known as atherosclerosis, or "hardening of the arteries."
PAD is a serious condition that should be diagnosed promptly by vascular specialists so they can reduce your risk as quickly as possible. PAD symptoms can be your first warning sign of a serious health problem. All patients with PAD are at increased risk of a heart attack or stroke. Some are at risk of losing a limb to amputation as a result of non-treatment.
How Do We Treat PAD at ECCO?
There are many different possible treatments for peripheral arterial disease, depending on how far the disease has progressed, and what symptoms it is producing. If arterial disease is caught early, it can be treated conservatively with lifestyle, diet, exercise, and medication. Left untreated, however, the disease can quickly progress to the point of causing symptoms such as:
In advanced cases of PAD such as this, more extensive treatment might be necessary to keep the disease from progressing further.
At ECCO, we treat advanced cases of peripheral arterial disease with a number of specialized interventional radiology and vascular procedures. Depending on the case and its severity, these may include balloon angioplasty (to expand the arteries), atherectomy (to remove plaque buildups), and in extreme cases, lower extremity arterial revascularization and stent placement.
These interventions are usually performed as outpatient procedures in our office based laboratory with sedation or anesthesia, depending on the needs of the patient. They usually take between 1 and 4 hours, depending on the severity of the condition.
Am I a Good Candidate for PAD Treatment at ECCO?
The answer to this question depends on the advice of your recommending physician(s), and on a thorough physical examination by ECCO doctors. To diagnose your condition and recommend the most appropriate treatment, we might use non-invasive imaging studies such as ultrasound of the arteries, Pulse Volume Recording, or CT Angiography.
Is There Recovery Time?
Naturally, the amount of time required for recovery depends upon the type of treatment administered. However, most patients report minimal recovery time. After some procedures we recommend no heavy lifting for the first 5 days, but other than this restriction, you can resume your normal physical activity.
Learn more - 5 Facts About Peripheral Arterial Disease