Diagnosis and Treatment
How is P.A.D. Diagnosed?
If your healthcare professional thinks you might have P.A.D., they will ask you questions about your clinical history, symptoms, and lifestyle. The healthcare professional will conduct a physical exam to check for changes in your skin, hair, and nails, and inspect your legs and feet for sores. They will also check the flow of blood in your legs and feet by feeling the pulses in your ankles and feet. If you have not recently had a blood test for diabetes or cholesterol, your healthcare professional may suggest these.
The simplest and most commonly used test for P.A.D. is called an Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) test. The ABI test compares blood pressure in the ankle with the blood pressure in the arm. Normally, the pressure in the ankle is higher than the arm, but in people with P.A.D., the pressure in the ankle is lower than that of the arm.
The ABI measurements are done with a Doppler probe that is held over the ankle to listen to the blood flowing through the artery. A gel ointment is placed on the skin over the artery and the Doppler probe is placed on the gel to help the healthcare professional hear the blood flow and measure the pressure. The test is painless and takes about 10 minutes. The ABI test, along with your symptoms, will allow your healthcare professional to determine whether or not you have P.A.D. and how severe the disease is.
Upon diagnosis of P.A.D. by your healthcare professional, might recommend one of the following treatments:
Many P.A.D. patients have elevated cholesterol levels. A diet low in saturated and trans fat can help lower blood cholesterol levels, but cholesterol-lowering medication may be necessary to maintain the proper cholesterol levels.
Tobacco smoke is a major risk factor for P.A.D. and your risk for heart attack and stroke. Stop smoking. It will help to slow the progression of P.A.D. and other heart-related diseases.
An often effective treatment for P.A.D. symptoms is regular physical activity. Your doctor may recommend a program of supervised exercise training known as cardiac rehabilitation. You may have to begin slowly, but simple walking regimens, leg exercises and treadmill exercise programs can ease symptoms
You may be prescribed high blood pressure medications and/or cholesterol-lowering medications. It’s important to make sure that you take the medication as recommended by your healthcare professional. Not following directions increases your risk for P.A.D, as well as heart attack and stroke.
In addition, you may be prescribed medications to help prevent blood clots.
Minimally Invasive Surgeries
ANGIOPLASTY – Balloon inflated in a narrowed vessel and push the plaque against the artery wall to restore blood flow
STENT – A stent is a small wire mesh tube that remains in the body after the procedure. It acts like a support system and mimics the structure of an artery wall to keep the blood vessel open
ATHERECTOMY – Using devices designed to break through the blockage in your artery and provide a path for other devices that restore flow
Vascular Bypass Surgery
Vascular bypass is another option if your doctor wants to treat a narrowed or blocked artery. This procedure bypasses the blockage in your artery by creating a path for blood flow around it.
The doctor will make a surgical incision near the blocked artery and reroute the blood flow by attaching an artificial graft (or one of your own veins) above and below the blockage. This treatment allows blood to go around, or bypass, the diseased part of your artery.
Additional Treatment Options
Additional treatments may be available for PAD. Talk to your healthcare provider to understand what treatment options may be appropriate for you.
Genesis Vascular has dedicated specialists who will assist you in determining your insurance coverage. Our team will contact your insurance company to verify eligibility and complete all the necessary paperwork. Our customer care team understands your concerns and is ready to assist you with any questions you might have regarding your insurance.
Medicare, Medicaid, and most insurances accepted.
Please contact us to find out more about the coverage your insurance carrier provides for your treatment.