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PAD in the legs Peripheral vascular disease (PVD)

Peripheral Artery Disease

At Ontario Vascular, we prioritize patient well-being and offer thorough evaluations to determine the most suitable treatment plan for your unique needs. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of PAD, we encourage you to reach out for a consultation. 

Definition

Peripheral Artery Disease, also known as PAD, occurs when arteries become narrow or clogged, limiting or blocking blood flow to the head, organs, and limbs.

​The blockage is usually caused by plaque (more often fat buildup), also known as atherosclerosis,  and it commonly affects the legs.

Less commonly, the cause of Peripheral Artery Disease may be blood vessel inflammation, injury to your limbs, or unusual anatomy of your ligaments or muscles.

Symptoms

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) often presents with various symptoms that are primarily related to reduced blood flow in the arteries of the extremities, usually the legs. 

* Pain or cramps in the legs when walking or with physical activity, which usually goes away with rest.

* Wounds or sores in legs that don't heal.

* Weakness or numbness in the legs, making it difficult to move or walk.

* The affected leg or foot might feel colder than the other side, and the skin may appear paler. 

* Severe cases of PAD might lead to pain even while at rest, particularly during the night.

Causes

Different reasons can cause peripheral Arterial Disease, for example, smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, kidney failure, etc. 

It is more common to have PAD in people 65 or older, but it can occur at any age.

It is highly recommended for older patients, especially those at risk, to seek advice from your physician. A simple ultrasound and leg blood pressure examination can diagnose PAD.

Treatments

We can treat PAD by making lifestyle changes (smoking cessation, controlling diabetes, etc.), prescribing medication or, in most severe cases, surgery. In addition, an exercise program can considerably improve the symptoms of PAD in many cases.

If Peripheral Arterial Disease is causing severe symptoms, additional treatments can be effective in improving the blood flow. These treatments are balloon angioplasty, stent placement, or surgical bypass.

How to Prevent

You can prevent PAD by maintaining a healthy lifestyle: 

* Avoid Smoking
* Keep your blood sugar levels under control
* Maintain a healthy blood pressure
* Lower your intake of saturated and trans fats
* Engage in regular physical activity 
* Maintain a Healthy Weight
* Avoid excessive alcohol consumption
* Regular check-ups
* Stay Hydrated
* Low levels of stress

image of the steps of pad. A normal artery, plaque on the artery and thrombosis image in the veins

PAD is a common form of arterial insufficiency where atherosclerosis causes the arteries to narrow and restrict blood flow to the extremities, most notably the legs.

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