Patient Education

Over 12 million Americans suffer from peripheral vascular disease, with approximately 200,000 amputations occurring annually most due to vascular disease. Nearly half of the individuals who have an amputation due to vascular disease will die within 5 years. This is higher than the five-year mortality rates for breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer. Peripheral arterial disease also has the highest 5-year cardiovascular mortality of any cardiovascular disease.

Fortunately, peripheral arterial disease is preventable and can be successfully managed and treated when discovered early and with simple lifestyle changes. A simple test performed at our office can identify early peripheral arterial disease.
This test can be one of these below:
  • The Ankle Brachial Index (ABI): This is a simple test where blood pressure differences are measured in both arms and ankles. It is a safe and painless test that helps your physician determine if your legs are getting the proper amount of blood supply. It is, in most cases, covered by insurance.

    If you have a positive ABI, an ultrasound test is always performed to visualize blood flow through your arteries and confirm an abnormality in blood flow.

    If your ultrasound confirms a blockage, a minimally invasive diagnostic test called Angiogram will be performed.

The Ankle Brachial Index (ABI)
  • Extremity angiography is a test used to see the arteries in the feet, or legs. It is also called peripheral angiography. Angiography uses X-rays and a special dye to see inside the arteries. Arteries are blood vessels that carry blood away from the heart and this test is performed to confirm the severity of blockage, and potentially reverse the blockage.
Our other screening and treatment procedures for PAD include:
  • Balloon angioplasty: Balloon angioplasty, or percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA), is a non-surgical procedure that relieves narrowing and obstruction of the arteries to the leg. This allows more blood and oxygen to be delivered to the leg and feet.

    Percutaneous (through the skin) transluminal angioplasty (PTA) balloons come in various sizes, lengths, and shapes, depending on the anatomy they're intended to treat. Balloon angioplasty is done in the catheterization laboratory (cath lab). The doctor injects a special dye through a small, thin tube called a catheter into your bloodstream. The dye allows the doctor to view your arteries on an X-ray monitor. A device with a small balloon on its tip is then inserted through an artery in your leg or arm and threaded through the arteries until it reaches the narrowed area. The balloon is inflated to flatten the plaque against the wall of the artery, opening the artery and restoring blood flow. Then the balloon is deflated and removed from your body.

    - The narrowing in the artery may be reduced, resulting in improved blood flow.
    - Major complications are uncommon.
    - You may be able to return to normal activities shortly after the procedure.
    - The procedure is usually performed using local anesthesia, which involves fewer risks than general anesthesia (putting you under).

Balloon angioplasty

Balloon angioplasty treatment
  • Stent Placement: Stents are small, expandable metal mesh tubes that hold arteries open. Your doctor may recommend placing a stent to reopen your blocked artery. A stent is a small, expandable, mesh-like tube that supports the artery and helps to keep it open.

    Implanting a stent does not require open surgery. The doctor inserts a catheter into an artery in your arm or leg, similar to the balloon angioplasty procedure. A specially-designed catheter delivers the stent to the narrow area in the artery. The stent is expanded, flattening the plaque against the artery wall and holding the artery open with a mesh tube. The catheter used to deliver the stent is then removed, but the stent stays in your artery permanently to maintain healthy blood flow.

    - The stent scaffolds the artery open, improving blood flow.
    - You are awake for the procedure; general anesthesia is not needed.
    - The hospital stay is usually brief.
    - You may be able to return to normal activities quickly.

Stent Placement
  • Angiography: Catheter angiography uses a catheter, X-ray imaging guidance, and an injection of contrast material to examine blood vessels in key areas of the body for abnormalities such as aneurysms and disease such as atherosclerosis (plaque). The use of a catheter makes it possible to combine diagnosis and treatment in a single procedure. Catheter angiography produces very detailed, clear, and accurate pictures of the blood vessels and may eliminate the need for surgery.

  • Intravenous Ultrasound (IVUS): Intravascular Ultrasound (IVUS) is a catheter based system that allows physicians to acquire images of diseased vessels from inside the artery or vein.

    IVUS provides detailed and accurate measurements of lumen and vessel size, plaque area and volume, and the location of key anatomical landmarks. This technology helps differentiate the four plaque types: fibrous, fibro-fatty, necrotic core, and dense calcium.

    IVUS is most often used to visualize veins and arteries in conjunction with or to help plan for catheter angiography or angioplasty and vascular stenting. Unlike angioplasty, IVUS can show the entire vessel wall and reveal more information about plaque buildup (atherosclerosis), which is associated with an increased risk of heart attack. Information from IVUS often affects treatment decisions such as the sizing of a stent and where it should be placed. It is often used after angioplasty and vascular stenting to confirm the stent has been placed correctly and that the procedure has addressed the problem.

Intravenous Ultrasound (IVUS)

You can learn more about minimally invasive procedures to treat PAD by visiting our PVD Procedure page.
Or learn how to take care of your vascular health and prevent vascular disease with our Venous Disease information.
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Get In Touch
Feel free to get in touch with us using the form below. Whether it's for a general inquiry, a project collaboration, or just to see what's up.

Get In Touch
Feel free to get in touch with us using the form below. Whether it's for a general inquiry, a project collaboration, or just to see what's up.