6 Signs You May Need an Angioplasty

First introduced in 1964, angioplasty has become a standard and highly effective treatment for opening clogged or blocked arteries that supply blood to your brain, heart, kidneys, arms, and legs. 

It’s not for everyone, but this minimally invasive procedure can eliminate the need for open surgery and spare you weeks of recovery time required for traditional procedures such as cardiac artery bypass.

Renowned vascular surgeon Dr. Farouk Marzouk leads the team at Frontier Medical Care in the Bay Ridge area of Brooklyn in New York City. This talented specialist is very highly regarded for his medical expertise and surgical skill.

He’s also committed to offering his patients the most effective and minimally invasive treatments available for conditions that threaten your overall health, such as heart disease and peripheral artery disease (PAD).

Here’s what Dr. Marzouk has to say about the signs and symptoms of blocked or narrowed arteries (atherosclerosis) and how angioplasty can help.

Symptoms of atherosclerosis that may signal the need for angioplasty

1. Chest pain

Coronary arteries are those that affect your heart muscle, so a blockage can cause pain around the organ. Angioplasty can clear blocked arteries and relieve the chest pain associated with reduced blood flow to your heart. 

Emergency angioplasty is often used as a life-saving measure during a heart attack to quickly open a blocked coronary artery and decrease permanent damage to the muscle.

2. Arm or leg pain

Muscle cramping and pain related to blocked peripheral arteries, those that carry blood to the regions outside of your heart, is most common in the legs. The discomfort may worsen with activities such as walking or cycling and decrease with rest. As the condition advances, however, the pain can become constant and severe.

3. Skin changes and swelling in the lower extremities

Blockages or narrowing in the arteries that carry blood to your legs often cause swelling, skin discoloration, and slow-healing skin wounds as well as gangrene, which may lead to amputation.

4. Fatigue

Rather than simply feeling tired after a long day or sleepless night, fatigue creates an overwhelming sense of unexplained exhaustion and muscle weakness that makes it difficult to accomplish even simple tasks. For instance, peripheral artery disease may result in difficulty standing due to feeling as if your leg muscles won’t support you.

5. Symptoms of a stroke

Blockages in the carotid arteries, those that carry blood to your brain, can result in dizziness, confusion, sudden weakness or numbness, difficulty walking, and other signs of a stroke. Note that a stroke is a life-threatening emergency that requires immediate medical care.

6. Worsening symptoms of atherosclerosis

Depending on the severity of the blockage, Dr. Marzouk typically recommends conservative treatments that may include medications and lifestyle changes, such as improved diet, to help reduce the risks associated with atherosclerosis.

When your symptoms are severe, however, or do not respond to conservative therapies, angioplasty may be your best treatment option for relieving your symptoms and reducing your chances of further complications from atherosclerosis.

For the most effective and minimally invasive therapy available for atherosclerosis and other vascular diseases, schedule an appointment with Dr. Marzouk at Frontier Medical Care today. You can set up a visit by phone or use our online scheduler.

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