Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) is a chronic disease; in which plaque builds up in the arteries. This buildup typically occurs gradually; over many years. As a result, blood flow will be sluggish and sometimes very minimal to the organs supplied by these arteries.
Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) affects all the arteries that supply our extremities. That’s said; The Iliac Arteries, which are in our pelvis, are considered peripheral arteries, and the same goes for The Subclavian Arteries and the arteries in our arms and legs.
As mentioned above, the disease progresses slowly, so sometimes the patient might not notice it initially as lifestyle adaptation occurs. But as the artery gets stenosed, any small blood clot or low blood pressure incident might result in blood flow loss to the organs supplied by it.
High blood lipids and cholesterol.
History of cardiovascular diseases (heart attacks).
Family history of cardiovascular diseases.
Pain in the legs while walking ( Intermittent claudication).
Pain at rest in the legs, especially when laying down.
Chronic wounds in the legs.
Coldness in the feet.
Erectile dysfunction in men.
Avoid smoking, exercise regularly, take prescribed medications as recommended to control high blood pressure, high cholesterol or triglycerides, diabetes, and kidney failure, maintain a balanced weight, and eat a balanced, low-sodium, low-fat diet.
Treatment of PAD is tailored to every patient based on so many factors. For instance, an intervention will be based on age, chronicity, complaints, and previous procedures.
Surgical interventions; as bypass surgery, in which a graft is used to bypass the affected segment, have long-lasting results and are preferred for younger patients or patients who failed other treatment modalities. Surgical interventions are superior to other modalities, but they require general anesthesia, longer in-hospital stay, and longer recovery time.
Endovascular Interventions; as balloons and stents. The artery is dilated with a balloon and may require a metal stent to keep it open. Endovascular interventions are favored in elderly patients. It does not require general anesthesia and has a shorter in-hospital stay and recovery period. In general Endovascular interventions are more expensive than their surgical counterparts.