Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a circulatory issue that affects nearly nine million people in the United States every year. It is a condition in which the arteries that carry blood to your extremities have narrowed or are blocked, restricting blood flow and causing several potentially serious health problems.
PAD is a result of atherosclerosis, which is the buildup of plaque in the arteries. This plaque buildup, made up of primarily cholesterol and fat, can harden, narrowing or completely blocking your arteries. This limits the flow to your limbs of the oxygen-rich blood necessary for healthy functioning. PAD most often affects the arteries in your legs, but can also affect the arteries carrying blood to your arms, head, stomach and kidneys. It may also be caused by injury or trauma to your limbs, inflammation of the blood vessels, radiation exposure or an anatomical anomaly, but these are much less frequent occurrences.
Peripheral artery disease is a significant issue on its own, however, it can also be a sign of problems in the other arteries in your body, including those that lead to the heart and brain. If those arteries are obstructed, you are at risk for a potentially life-threatening heart attack or stroke.
As PAD progresses, you may start having pain when you are sitting or laying down, and it may even be acute enough to disrupt your sleep. If PAD is left untreated, you may develop what is known as critical limb ischemia, which begins with sores from an injury or infection that won’t heal. Eventually, the lack of blood flow will cause tissue death (gangrene) and may even require amputating the affected limb.
The most common symptom of PAD is pain or cramping in your legs, called claudication. Claudication usually flares up when you are walking, as your legs are not receiving adequate blood flow to support your activity. The location of the pain is a clue to the location of the narrowed artery – most people suffering from PAD experience pain in their calves. While some people may have little to no symptoms of PAD or claudication, others may have debilitating pain that can interfere with daily activities. Other symptoms of PAD include:
If you are experiencing leg pain or cramping, numbness, or other possible PAD symptoms, it is vital that you make an appointment with your doctor so that you can be accurately diagnosed and treated.
People who are smokers or have diabetes are at a higher risk for developing peripheral artery disease because of the already reduced blood flow that results from these conditions. Other factors that may increase your risk for PAD include:
While PAD is a serious health condition, it can be prevented, treated, and even reversed. If you have been diagnosed with PAD, lifestyle changes that can help include:
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of peripheral artery disorder, or want to undergo a preventative screening, call IVC today at 503-612-0498 to schedule an appointment with one of our team of experienced and professional interventional radiologists. We offer treatment for PAD using both surgical and nonsurgical methods, so that you can start the healing and recovery process as soon as possible, preventing more severe problems down the road.
This is for Dr. Pfister. I just wanted to thank him for all the time he spent with us the other week. In all the years I’ve had my vascular problems I’ve never had a doctor really sit down and explain to me the intricacies of what might be going on. I have a lot to think about…but just wanted to say thanks for being so nice and answering our many questions!L.H.
A fantastic group of wonderful people. The procedure was very smooth. When they were putting the port in I felt like I was getting a great massage!! Thank you all!S.C.
Charley was instrumental in getting me scheduled in quickly to get my PICC line removed. She actually worked until late in the day to get the information from my referring doctor’s office. It is nice to know great people like Charley still exist in this world!K.S.
I had my blood clot filter removed on 2/21/18. I was very apprehensive, yet EVERYONE in Dr. Pfister’s office and surgical team helped to make me comfortable. I am extremely claustrophobic so laying down or having something covering my face creates anxiety. Mary Anne listened to my concerns and made sure I was made comfortable and did not feel anxious. The surgical team was amazing, they explained everything thoroughly. Dr. Pfister came in after the procedure to review what he did and discuss any follow up that might be required. I so appreciate the time and attention he gives me as his patient. This was a positive experience.G.H.
110% Thank You! Best unit so far in my cancer treatment. Thanks Dr. LoveAnonymous
If you ever need an Interventional Radiologist for a child I realize it is serious business. I’ve seen Dr. Love go and save a child’s kidney without missing a beat. I could recommend no one better for myself, or for people I love. I think he is a little cool at the bedside, but that’s OK Dr. Love, stay frosty! If you can’t see Dr. Love, one of the other professionals at IVC will be able to help you. Ashley, the dynamite scheduler and one of the other surgeons at IVC will care for you. I’ve had multiple surgeries with this practice over the past several years. Never a hiccup!S. R. – Portland, OR
Great experience, doctor was thorough in explaining what was going to happen. The nurses were very attentive and made sure I was comfortable and my needs were met. I would recommend this office for any related procedure.Anonymous
Everything went very smoothly. Joe enjoyed the music. Very friendly staff! Good Experience!J. & E.
All staff was courteous and efficient. Good experience.J. J.
Dr. Pfister, thanks so much for your excellent care, removing my chemo port earlier this week. With all your experience and your fine touch, I’m confident the scar will be nearly invisible. Your team, from beginning to end, did a super job with me. Please extend my gratitude to Jennifer, Mary Anne, Todd and Charley. I’ve got a whole lot of living left to do. I appreciate all of you helping me do it!M. F.
Dr. Pfister, thank you for all of the attention you gave to me. I learned lots from our discussion – hearing you speak of ultimate healing was enough to encourage me to do all I can to strengthen those muscles.S. O.
The entire office is one of the most professional, helpful and informative medical offices I have dealt with (and I have dealt with many). Kudos to Jennifer, Henry, and Charley!K. C.
Great people. Great place. Good surgery.G. G.
Patty, Mary Anne and the whole staff was amazing! Best experience I’ve had since being diagnosed with cancer. From start to finish, was great. Thanks.M
My brother came into Legacy Meridian Park, had a stroke. Dr. Bauer came in immediately, in his work jeans and shirt. He worked with Neurologist Dr. Burbank, developed a plan and took my brother into a procedure where they removed the clot from his head! Very down to earth doctor, explained procedure to family, worked with sense of urgency.J. P.
I want to comment regarding Dr. Bauer of how he was thorough explaining my CT Biopsy and showing me how on the computer he would get the tissue needed. In all the years of several surgeries I have never felt better going in to have a procedure done. His bedside manner was incredible. I wish all doctors were like Dr. Bauer. Thank you for preparing and relaxing me prior to the biopsy.R.S. Molalla OR
Everyone did a superb job taking care of me and doing the procedure. Thank You AllK.S.
Dr. Bauer genuinely cares about his patients and strives to make sure they understand every aspect of their treatment.A. L.
Dr. Bauer, our family wants you to know how thankful we are to you for saving G.P.’s life and bringing him back to us in normal health. Thank you over and over you are the best!Family of G. P.