Peripheral Arterial Disease

Peripheral arterial disease, or PAD, is a condition in which the arteries to the arms and legs become narrow or clogged, interfering with normal blood flow. This disease affects both men and women, as many as 10 million Americans may have PAD. The risk factors are:

  • Over 50 years of age
  • Smoker
  • Diabetic
  • Obesity
  • No exercise
  • High blood pressure or high cholesterol

Lifestyle changes and medications can often halt the progression and manage the disease. When lifestyle changes and medications are not enough, there are a number of ways interventional radiologists can open blood vessels at the site of blockages and restore normal blood flow. These procedures are often performed in an outpatient setting, and include:

  • Angioplasty: A balloon inflated to open blood vessel
  • Atherectomy: A very small catheter is inserted into artery at the site of blockage to remove plaque from the artery
  • Stents: A tiny metal cylinder, or stent, is inserted into artery at site of blockage, which holds open the blood vessel

Occasionally, surgery is required to remove blockages or to bypass occluded area. Surgeries are performed by vascular surgeons.

More information can be found at: www.sirweb.org

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