Lower Limb Arterial Diseases (PAD)

HOME Lower Limb Arterial Diseases (PAD)

Lower Limb Arterial Diseases (PAD)

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Legs pain while walking, this may be the first indicator of a leg attack, known in medical terminology as Peripheral Arterial Disease ( Arteries in the body can slowly become narrowed and blocked)

In the initial stages of blockage, patients do not have any major problems and may attribute pain on walking (claudication) to old age, weak muscles or arthritis. However, if left undiagnosed and untreated, PAD often ends with severe rest pain and ulcers or gangrene and eventual amputation of the leg.

 

Who is at risk of PAD?

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The risk of atherosclerosis increases with the following risk factors. If you have more than two of these risk factors, regular examination with an ABI test will detect PAD in early stages.

  •  Smoking
  •  Hypertension
  •  Diabetes
  •  Heart disease
  •  High blood cholesterol
  •  Family History

 

What can happen due to PAD?

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Known to be a naturally progressive disease, as time goes by and the blockage increases, patients may develop increasing severity in the leg pain with slow healing of ulcers or onset of black patches in toes or foot (Gangrene)

In earlier times, patients with gangrene were advised for amputation of leg, either below or sometimes above the knee. But with newer advances in vascular surgery, procedures are now being performed to prevent amputation. After all, it’s not your legs, it’s your life!

 

Lower Limb Arterial Diseases (PAD)

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Your vascular specialist can guide you and help you provide a suitable balanced option between the different available procedures based on multiple factors including age, co-existent problems, level of blockages and availability or expense of devices.

  • Angioplasty: Minimally invasive techniques through needle punctures and utilising endovascular balloons or stents have revolutionised the treatment of PAD patients. There have been substantial developments in the skills and resources utilised for endovascular procedures over the past decade. Continuously upgrading expertise has led to development of drug coated balloons, atherectomy devices and vascular mimetic stents which promise to deliver better results in reduced recovery time and are less painful. They are now regularly used for treatment of leg arterial blockages.
  • Bypass: Often, long segment blockages or multilevel blockages are better dealt with by surgical bypass. Surgical bypass can be performed by using patients own vein or a synthetic graft and can be performed from the abdomen to the foot depending on the level and extent of arterial blockage. These procedures will not cure PAD, but they can improve the blood circulation to your legs and your ability to walk and thus prevent amputation.
  • Medicines: Not all patients require major surgery if diagnosed in time. In addition to changing your lifestyle after a diagnosis and controlling of risk factors like diabetes and hypertension, certain medicines are useful in the initial stages of PAD.
  • Walking exercises: Exercise strengthens the leg muscles which are out of shape and weak. It is useful for improving claudication distance and helps you lead a healthy life. However, this may not be suitable for patients who have ulcer or gangrene.

No matter what your age, early diagnosis and treatment of vascular disease can improve the quality of your life.
We strongly recommend you to stay updated on the latest information and treatments in vascular care. You never know when you need to know.

 

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