Peripheral Artery Disease Treatment in Northern New Jersey
Receive Expert Diagnosis and Treatment for Peripheral Artery Disease
Advanced Vascular Associates is a leader in offering patients the highest quality of vascular care there is by combining clinical excellence and technological sophistication with a compassionate smile. Our Vascular Surgeons offer complete care for peripheral arterial disease. Our Vascular Clinics are Located in Morristown, Jefferson, and Pompton Plains, New Jersey.
What is PAD?
Some 12 million Americans have Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), blocked blood vessels in the legs that can cause discomfort or pain when walking. However, 75 percent of these people have no symptoms. PAD can also be a sign that you have blocked blood vessels in other parts of your body. PAD also raises your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
PAD is the partial or complete blockage of blood flow through the arteries in your limbs, usually your legs. It occurs when plaque (a substance made of cholesterol, calcium, and fibrous tissue) builds up in your body’s blood vessels. This is called atherosclerosis, or “hardening of the arteries.” When arteries become blocked or narrowed, blood can’t flow properly and the muscles of your legs don’t receive enough oxygen. This can cause discomfort or pain in your legs while walking called claudication.
A more serious type of PAD is called limb ischemia. Limb ischemia is a severe blockage in the arteries in your legs. This can cause extreme blockage and significantly reduce blood flow in your legs. Limb ischemia can cause severe pain in legs, feet, or toes even when you’re at rest. The poor circulation in your legs may result in you developing sores or wounds that won’t heal.
What are the Symptoms of PAD?
Although it may be easy to diagnose symptoms of leg pain as just “a normal part of aging,” this pain could be an early sign of PAD. The most common symptoms of PAD may include:
- Cold toes or feet
- Dry, discolored skin
- Pain while walking
- Leg pain at nighttime
- Feeling like your leg is heavy
- Numbness or burning sensation
- Wounds and bruises that won’t heal
- Black areas on your feet or toes (otherwise known as Gangrene)
How is PAD Diagnosed?
Proper diagnosis of peripheral artery disease (PAD) involves a combination of assessments and specialized tests. The following methods are commonly used to diagnose PAD:
Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI)
The ankle-brachial index is a non-invasive test that compares blood pressures in the legs and arms. By using a blood pressure cuff and a Doppler ultrasound device, blood pressure measurements are taken at the ankle and the arm. The calculated ratio between the ankle systolic blood pressure and the brachial (arm) systolic blood pressure helps determine restricted blood flow in the leg arteries, indicating the presence of PAD.
Angiography is an imaging procedure that involves injecting a contrast dye into the blood vessels, followed by X-ray imaging. This minimally invasive test is usually performed if non-invasive tests are inconclusive or when more detailed information about the location and severity of blockages is required. The contrast dye makes the blood vessels visible on the X-ray images, facilitating the identification of any blockages or narrowing.
In some cases, a CT arteriogram may be performed prior to diagnostic angiography. This procedure provides a preliminary understanding of the potential location of the problem. It helps guide the subsequent diagnostic angiogram by focusing on the areas most likely to be causing the issue. The diagnostic angiogram, which is more detailed than the CT arteriogram, allows for precise evaluation of the arteries and aids in accurate diagnosis and potential treatment.
Please note that the specific diagnostic tests recommended may vary depending on individual symptoms, medical history, and the healthcare provider’s clinical judgment. It is important to consult with a qualified healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate diagnostic approach for an individual’s specific situation.
What are the Causes of PAD?
- High Cholesterol
- Family History
- Other Medical Conditions can increase the likelihood of PAD
Revascularization, or reopening the blocked vein or artery, is the primary goal of treating PAD and limb ischemia. Because the majority of cases are in the lower legs, our physicians specialize in a variety of techniques for lower extremity revascularization to restore blood flow to the legs and feet. The types of lower extremity revascularization performed by Advanced Vascular Associates include Balloon Angioplasty and Stenting, where a balloon topped catheter is inserted through your skin into an artery. The balloon is inflated to push back the plaque and help reopen the artery, and then a stent (a tiny mesh metal flexible tube) is placed in your artery to keep the artery open.
The physicians at Advanced Vascular Associates are experts in diagnosing and treating PAD and limb ischemia. Although surgery is an effective treatment approach, the physicians at Advanced Vascular Associates consider minimally invasive approaches first, when appropriate. Our specialists will work with you to determine the best treatment approach for you.