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Peripheral Artery Disease Santa Fe

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a circulatory problem.  Arteries which have narrowed impede the flow of blood to the extremities.

One of the most common symptoms is pain and cramping in the legs while walking, known as “claudication”.

When your arteries accumulate fatty deposits, the problem may not just be in your legs.  In fact, peripheral artery disease can be an indication that these deposits are also impeding blood flow in the heart and to the brain.

Symptoms

The most common site in the legs for cramping and pain is the calf muscles but this can occur in the thighs and hips, while either walking, climbing stairs or during other activities.

Other symptoms include weakness or numbness in the legs, cold sensations in the foot or lower leg on one side and sores on the lower extremities which don’t heal.

A weak or non-existent pulse in the legs and feet is also a symptom, as well as erectile dysfunction.

But even if you don’t recognize any of these symptoms, it’s imperative that people over the age of 65, smokers and those with a history of diabetes over the age of 50 be screened for PAD.

Those under 50 who are diabetic, obese or who have high blood pressure are also at high risk.

Diagnostic testing

A physical examination will be performed and accompanied by CT angiography, MR angiography and/or vascular ultrasound.

The vascular ultrasound employs specialized imaging, like Doppler.  This diagnostic allows your doctor to analyze blood flow to identify the presence of narrowed or blocked arteries.

CT angiography (of the two types) is the more invasive procedure.  A catheter is introduced via an artery in the groin and guided to the affected area.  This is how the dye used in angiography is injected.

While more invasive, this variety of angiography permits diagnosis and treatment to occur simultaneously.  Once the source of the problem is found, a tiny balloon is inserted and inflated to open the blocked or narrowed area.  Your doctor may also choose a drug therapy which improves blood flow.  This is a distinct advantage over the magnetic resonance angiography.

Treatment

The goal of PAD treatment is to reduce or eliminate pain and to stop the progression of atherosclerosis (artery narrowing/blockage).  In the early stages of the condition, this can usually be managed by lifestyle changes like proper nutrition, exercise, smoking cessation and weight loss.

You may also be prescribed mediation to lower blood pressure and cholesterol and to manage pain.

Peripheral artery disease Santa Fe

X-Ray Associates of New Mexico are the state’s radiology leaders, offering patients superior diagnostics.  Detecting peripheral artery disease Santa Fe is part of what we do at our six clinics, statewide.

All the diagnostic tools used to detect peripheral artery diseases Santa Fe (as discussed above) are available at our clinic there.

Serving New Mexico patients for more than six decades with leading-edge radiology, XRANM offers patient-centered diagnostic support and advanced expertise in the field, with a comprehensive range of radiological testing.  Contact us to find out more.

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