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Peripheral Artery Disease

Lone Star Heart and Vascular Center

Cardiovascular Disease Specialists & Interventional Cardiologists located in North Houston, Tomball, TX

About 8.5 million people in the United States have peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is a narrowing of the blood vessels that carry oxygenated blood from your heart to your extremities. In addition to affecting the health of your extremities, PAD also increases your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. At Lone Star Heart and Vascular Center in Tomball, Texas, Waqar Khan, MD, MPH, FACC, FSCAI, Alexander Trujillo, MD, and Steven Napierkowski, MD, use advanced tools and techniques to diagnose and treat PAD. For expert cardiovascular care, contact the office by phone or online today.

Peripheral Artery Disease Q & A

What is peripheral artery disease (PAD)?

Peripheral artery disease or PAD is a narrowing or blockage in the blood vessels in your extremities. The narrowing or blockage is most often because of a buildup of plaque along the blood vessel walls, which is a condition called atherosclerosis.

PAD most often affects the blood vessels in the legs, but it can occur in any blood vessel in your body, including your arms, kidneys, and stomach. 

You may be at risk of developing peripheral artery disease if you’re a smoker, have a history of diabetes, or have high blood cholesterol. 


What are peripheral artery disease symptoms?

Peripheral artery disease doesn’t always cause symptoms. However, the most common symptom of PAD is pain in your legs when walking, which is called claudication.

Other PAD symptoms include:

  • Leg muscle weakness
  • Change in leg hair growth
  • Skin on your legs appear shiny
  • Slow toenail growth
  • Poor healing wounds on the feet, ankles, or legs

In men, erectile dysfunction is a common symptom of peripheral artery disease.


How is peripheral artery disease diagnosed?

When you visit Lone Star Heart and Vascular Center for a PAD evaluation, your provider conducts an in-depth exam to diagnose peripheral artery disease and develop the most effective treatment plan.

After taking a comprehensive medical history and performing a physical, your provider may recommend a lower extremity arterial study, which is an ultrasound imaging exam that evaluates the flow of blood through the arteries in your legs. 

Your provider also conducts an ankle-brachial index, which compares the blood pressure in your arms to the blood pressure in your legs. 

The information gathered during your exam helps your provider confirm or rule out a diagnosis.  


How is peripheral artery disease treated?

Your cardiovascular disease specialist at Lone Star Heart and Vascular Center develops a personalized treatment plan for your PAD based on the severity of the disease, your symptoms, and medical history.

Treatment may include:

  • Exercise program
  • Heart-healthy diet
  • Smoking cessation
  • Medication to lower cholesterol or blood pressure

The skilled cardiovascular disease specialists also perform surgical procedures when necessary, such as angioplasty and stenting, bypass grafting, or atherectomy.

When possible, your provider at Lone Star Heart and Vascular Center uses minimally invasive endovascular procedures to perform surgery to reduce risk, minimize post-procedure pain, and shorten recovery time.

Lone Star Heart and Vascular Center is the leading practice in treating blockages in the legs using advanced diagnostic techniques and treatments, both at the office and in the hospital. 

Peripheral artery disease is a serious health concern that may increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. To schedule a comprehensive evaluation at Lone Star Heart and Vascular Center, call the office or book online today.