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Peripheral Artery Disease

Heart Consultants

Cardiologist & Interventional Cardiologist located in Washington, DC & Silver Spring, MD

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) most often affects your legs, causing pain when you walk. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, board-certified cardiologist Luc Oke, MD, and his team at Heart Consultants in Silver Spring, Maryland, and Washington, DC, can help. They use state-of-the-art technology to evaluate your circulation and combine holistic lifestyle modifications with advanced, minimally invasive interventions to treat PAD. Call the office closest to you today to find out more or use the online form to book an appointment.

Peripheral Artery Disease Q & A

What is peripheral artery disease?

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a circulatory disorder. It results from the narrowing of arteries that transport blood from your heart all around your body.

Peripheral artery disease is most likely due to atherosclerosis, a condition in which deposits of a fatty material called plaque builds up in your arteries.

What are the symptoms of peripheral artery disease?

Peripheral artery disease often causes such mild symptoms — and sometimes no symptoms at all to start with — that you could have it and not realize it.

When peripheral artery disease is causing symptoms, some of the most common are pain or cramps in the leg muscles that worsen when you're walking and typically go away if you rest.

Your calf is the most likely place for this to develop. The pain might be mild and not much more than a nuisance, or it can progress to being so severe you find it difficult to walk.

Other symptoms of peripheral artery disease that might be present in your legs and feet include:

  • Numbness or weakness
  • Cold lower legs
  • Sores that won't heal
  • Change in skin color
  • Hair loss or slow hair growth
  • Slow-growing toenails
  • Shiny skin
  • Weak pulse in your legs

Dr. Oke offers screenings for peripheral artery disease, a procedure recommended if you’re 65 or older. If you're over 50 and smoke or have diabetes, your risk of developing PAD increases.

How is peripheral artery disease diagnosed?

The diagnostic process could feature one or more of a selection of cutting-edge technologies.

The ankle-brachial index (ABI) test compares the blood pressure reading from your ankle to a reading from your arm. Healthy people have the same readings in both places. If your ABI test shows your blood pressure is much lower in your ankle, that indicates peripheral artery disease.

Dr. Oke might want to assess how well your blood is flowing using Doppler ultrasound. This test helps to identify arteries that are narrow or blocked. Another test, angiography, involves having an injection of a dye that makes your arteries more visible when you undergo a scan.

How is peripheral artery disease treated?

Making changes to your lifestyle is vital if you have peripheral artery disease to improve the health of your arteries. In the early stages, you can reverse the damage this way, but at more advanced stages, you might also need treatment.

Potential treatments for peripheral artery disease include:

  • Cholesterol-lowering medications
  • High blood pressure medications
  • Blood-thinning medications
  • Balloon angioplasty with or without stent
  • Thrombolytic therapy

To arrange a screening test or consultation with Dr. Oke, call Heart Consultants today or book an appointment online.