Peripheral Arterial Disease

also known as Peripheral Artery Disease or PAD

One out of every 20 Americans over age 50 has Peripheral Arterial Disease

When left untreated, PAD increases your risk of serious health problems, including heart attack or stroke.

Man grasping leg in pain with graphics showing both an unclogged artery with lots of plaque and an unclogged artery with no plaque with text that reads "Poor circulation can cause leg pain."

Symptoms of Peripheral Arterial Disease

  • Painful cramping in the thighs, hips, or calves
  • Leg weakness or numbness
  • Hair loss on the feet and legs
  • Yellow, slow-growing toenails
  • Shiny skin on the legs
  • Slow-healing wounds or ulcers on the legs and feet
  • Erectile dysfunction in men
Peripheral Arterial Disease is a circulatory problem that causes a narrowing in your leg arteries (and sometimes in your arms)

Over time, this prevents blood flow to your extremities, increasing your risk of more serious health problems, including amputation, heart attack, or stroke.

Peripheral Arterial Disease is a serious, yet treatable health problem. Healthy lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, exercising regularly, and eating a balanced diet are enough to ease symptoms and improve your quality of life. However, more severe cases require medical treatment.

PAD occurs when plaque builds up on the inside walls of the arteries that carry blood from the heart to the legs and feet. Graphic shows a narrowed artery full of plaque and a normal artery with very little plaque.
Peripheral Arterial Disease affects people of all genders and races

Several factors may increase your risk. For example, Peripheral Arterial Disease tends to affect people who are smokers or overweight. You’re also at an increased risk if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes.

Peripheral Arterial Disease can be diagnosed by a physical exam and a review of your health history

If Dr. Gerges detects a weak pulse or notices you have slow-healing wounds, he might order additional testing, including ankle-brachial index (ABI) or doppler ultrasound.

ABI measures the difference between the blood pressure in your lower body to the blood pressure in your upper body. To get the most accurate reading possible, Dr. Gerges might have you walk on a treadmill before taking any readings.

Doppler ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to evaluate blood flow through your vessels. It’s a quick and efficient way to detect blocked or narrowed arteries.

Treatment for Peripheral Arterial Disease focuses on easing uncomfortable symptoms and preventing the progression of atherosclerosis (fat buildup)

If you have mild symptoms, Dr. Gerges might recommend healthy lifestyle changes like losing weight, exercising regularly, and managing your stress levels. If these measures don’t improve your symptoms, you might benefit from:

  • Cholesterol-lowering medications
  • High blood pressure medications
  • Medications to prevent blood clots
  • Medications to manage blood sugar
  • Pain relievers to address leg cramps or aching

In serious cases of Peripheral Arterial Disease, surgical intervention may be necessary. Dr. Gerges might recommend:

Each year, there are more than 160,000 amputations performed in the U.S. as a result of PAD
  • ANGIOPLASTY: a minimally-invasive procedure where a balloon is inflated inside a blocked artery to restore blood flow
  • STENT: a tiny tube placed in the artery to keep it open
  • ATHERECTOMY: a minimally-invasive procedure using a medical device to help open blocked arteries
  • BYPASS SURGERY: a surgical procedure that uses a blood vessel or synthetic tube to bypass blockages in the artery

If you’re concerned about your risk of Peripheral Arterial Disease, you can request a free consultation in El Paso at 915-855-6508, San Antonio at 210-481-9544, or Abilene at 325-280-5881. You can also request a free consultation via the button below.

IVC of El Paso

Next to Davita/El Paso Kidney
11989 Pellicano Dr., Suite D
El Paso, TX 79936
Phone: 915-855-6508
Fax: 915-855-6509

YouTube Español

IVC of San Antonio

Medical Park at Stone Oak
19234 Stonehue
San Antonio, TX 78258
Phone: 210-481-9544
Fax: 210-481-9545

IVC of Abilene

Hendrick Health #1
6300 Regional Plaza, #475
Abilene, TX 79606
Phone: 325-280-5881
Fax: 210-481-9545