Peripheral Artery Disease

aka Peripheral Arterial Disease, P.A.D., PAD, Atherosclerotic Peripheral Artery Disease, Peripheral Vascular Disease, Occlusive Arterial Disease, Intermittent Claudication, and Critical Limb-Threatening Ischemia

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

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

Symptoms of Peripheral Artery 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
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."
Peripheral Artery 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 Artery 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 Artery Disease affects people of all genders and races

Several factors may increase your risk. For example, Peripheral Artery 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, diabetes, or are over the age of 65 (although it’s not uncommon to have PAD as early as age 50).

AM I AT RISK? Peripheral Artery Disease risk factors include a history of smoking, type 2 diabetes, advanced age over 65 years old, high blood pressure, a family history of PAD, and/or high cholesterol.
Peripheral Artery 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 Artery 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 Artery Disease, surgical intervention may be necessary. Dr. Gerges might recommend:

  • 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
Each year, there are more than 160,000 amputations performed in the U.S. as a result of PAD

If you’re concerned about your risk of Peripheral Artery Disease, you can request a free consultation by clicking HERE or by calling our offices in El Paso at 915-855-6508, San Antonio at 210-481-9544, or Abilene at 325-268-4040.

Three Convenient Texas Locations:


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


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

YouTube Español


Hendrick Health #1
6300 Regional Plaza, #475
Abilene, TX 79606
Phone: 325-268-4040
Fax: 325-268-4041

YouTube Español