Peripheral Artery Disease

What is Peripheral Artery Disease?

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a medical condition in which the peripheral arteries become narrow and the amount of blood flowing to the limbs is reduced. It is classified in the category of circulatory problem. If a patient is suffering from PAD, the requirement of blood for extremities (legs) is not sufficient. This unfulfilled demand results in symptoms such as leg pain during walks, and many more. Usually, PAD occurs when plaque is deposited in the arteries, a condition known as atherosclerosis. The deposit restricts the flow of blood to heart, brain and legs as well. If a person is suffering from this disorder, he/she has narrow blood vessels throughout the body. Another cause can be an injury in the limbs, clot formation in the arteries, or some form of infection.

In rare cases, the causes can be swelling in the blood vessels, injured limbs, unusual anatomy of the ligaments or muscles, or exposure of the patient to radiations.

Peripheral Artery Disease Symptoms

Although the symptoms are mistaken for other diseases, the common symptoms that occur with peripheral artery disease are:

  • Weakness, occurrence of painful cramps in the hips, and pain in thigh or calf muscles after any physical activity such as stair climbing or short walks.
  • Numbness or persistent weakness in the limbs.
  • One leg (lower part) becomes cold in comparison to the other side.
  • Slow healing of wounds or sores in the toe.
  • Colour of the leg keeps changing.
  • Little or slow hair growth in the legs and feet.
  • Appearance of shiny skin in the legs and slow growth of toenails.
  • Erectile dysfunction. 
  • Pain may also occur while the patient is resting or lying down, if the disorder is in progress. The pain is intense, and can also disturb sleep. For temporary relief from pain, the patient may hang legs over the edge of the bed or walk around for awhile.


Peripheral Artery Disease causes

The most probable causes of this disease are:

  • Cholesterol in blood.
  • Smoking.
  • Sugar in blood.
  • Hypertension.
  • Diet and weight.

Peripheral Artery Disease Risks

There are some factors that contribute to the development of PAD. Some of them are:

  • Diabetes.
  • Hypertension.
  • High levels of cholesterol.
  • Age, especially above of 50 years.
  • A family history.
  • Obesity.

Peripheral Artery Disease prevention ways

In order to prevent the occurrence of this disease, one should take care of the following:

  • Limiting the consumption alcohol and smoking.
  • Dietary changes.
  • Controlling the intake of sugar.
  • Increasing physical activities.

How is it diagnosed?

At Medanta, following are the means to diagnose the disease: 


How is it treated?

At Medanta, treating peripheral artery disease is to manage the symptoms and stop the progression of the disorder in the body. Some common ways to treat the condition are:


  • Medicines

    Intake of high blood pressure and cholesterol lowering medicines will ensure the treatment goes well. But make sure only prescribed medicines are taken.


  • Endovascular surgery

    Endovascular surgery is a minimally invasive surgery to access various regions of the body, such as major blood vessels.


  • Angioplasty

    Angioplasty, stenting, open surgery, incision of plastic graft, open bypass and endarterectomy are some other forms of surgery that may be helpful.

When do I contact the doctor?

You should immediately consult a doctor when you begin to face symptoms like numbness or constant weakness in the limbs, obesity, and occurrence of painful cramps. All these symptoms will be treated just right with the help of our medical expertise at Medanta.

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