Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists
Cardiovascular Specialists located in Mountain View, CA
Most people don’t feel the symptoms of peripheral arterial disease until blood flow is significantly blocked. At Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists, treatment begins with the most conservative options, but you can depend on the medical staff's extensive experience when interventional procedures are required to relieve the arterial blockage. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Mountain View, California, or use the online booking feature.
Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) Q & A
What causes peripheral arterial disease?
PAD develops when plaque builds up in your peripheral arteries. While PAD can affect any of the arteries serving your organs, limbs, and head, it most often occurs in your legs.
Plaque begins when cholesterol starts to accumulate on the arterial wall, a condition called atherosclerosis. Over time, the plaque enlarges, thickening the blood vessel wall and narrowing the artery. As a result, blood flow through the artery becomes limited or blocked.
What symptoms develop due to peripheral artery disease?
Many patients don’t experience symptoms until the artery has narrowed by 60% or more. When symptoms appear, you may develop:
- Leg pain when you walk
- Red or discolored skin
- A wound that doesn’t heal
- Hair loss on the affected leg
- Diminished muscle mass
- Cool skin
The first symptom of PAD is a condition called intermittent claudication, which is leg pain that appears when you walk, feels better when you rest, and returns again the next time you walk.
How is peripheral arterial disease treated?
In addition to treating underlying diseases contributing to PAD, such as high blood pressure, the physicians at Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists may prescribe medications that relax the arteries and prevent blood clots. When your PAD is severe, however, you may need endovascular interventions such as:
Angioplasty and stenting
The physician guides a catheter through your blood vessels to the blocked artery. A balloon contained in the catheter is inflated, pushing the plaque against the artery wall and restoring blood flow. He may also implant a mesh stent to keep the blood vessel open.
If the plaque is too hard to push out of the way with a balloon, the physician may recommend a minimally invasive atherectomy. This procedure is also done using a catheter threaded through your blood vessels. However, the catheter is equipped with a knife that’s used to cut away the plaque.
This procedure is the same as an atherectomy, but the physician uses a laser instead of a blade.
In severe cases of PAD, the physician performs bypass surgery, using a synthetic tube or small section of a blood vessel from another part of your body to reroute blood around the blockage.
If you need treatment for peripheral arterial disease, call Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists or schedule an appointment using the online booking tool.