The Dangers of Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

The Dangers of Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a relatively common disorder that often goes unnoticed until symptoms worsen and begin to interfere with routine activities such as a daily walk or quick jaunt up a flight of stairs.

Farouk Marzouk, MD, is a vascular surgeon with a busy practice, Frontier Medical Care, in the Bay Ridge area of Brooklyn, New York. Our team focuses on diagnosing and treating conditions that affect your artery and vein health, including PAD.

We’re happy to provide information about the symptoms and potential health consequences of untreated PAD.

PAD symptoms

Similar to coronary artery disease, which affects blood flow to your heart, PAD causes narrowing of the arteries that carry oxygen-rich blood from your heart to the rest of your body.

PAD usually affects the legs but can also occur in the arteries that feed your arms, kidneys, and pelvic organs.

A common early warning sign of PAD is cramping pain (claudication) in your hips, thighs, or calves when you walk, climb stairs, or engage in other exercise that involves your lower extremities.

This occurs because your muscles require additional blood flow when active and arteries narrowed by PAD can’t keep up with the demand.

Claudication symptoms typically resolve once you cease the activity that triggered the pain. Eventually, though, the often disabling pain can become persistent and may occur even at rest.

Other symptoms related to PAD in the lower extremities include:

To avoid worsening symptoms and more severe health complications, don’t hesitate to seek treatment for your PAD.

Health risks related to untreated PAD

Depending on which arteries are affected, health complications related to PAD may include:

It’s also important to note that the underlying cause of PAD is atherosclerosis. This is the same artery-clogging condition that can disrupt blood flow to your heart. 

Individuals with PAD have a significant risk of developing or may already have coronary artery disease (CAD) related to atherosclerosis. 

The relationship is so significant that Dr. Marzouk generally recommends that individuals newly diagnosed with CAD undergo vascular studies to evaluate their peripheral arteries and veins.

If you have PAD, you may also benefit from studies to check the health of your coronary arteries.

What are vascular studies?

Vascular studies are noninvasive and painless tests that use ultrasound technology to measure blood flow in your veins and arteries. 

Performed in-office for your convenience, these studies help Dr. Marzouk design a treatment plan that, based on your level of disease and severity of symptoms, may include:

Should these conservative measures fail, Dr. Marzouk may recommend minimally invasive balloon angioplasty with stenting to open blocked peripheral arteries.

For symptoms related to PAD or any of the other conditions we treat, call or use the online booking tool to schedule an evaluation with Dr. Marzouk at Frontier Medical Care today.

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