Peripheral artery disease (PAD) can have devastating effects in its advanced stages if left unmanaged. In the worst case, you may suffer lower limb amputation. Goke Akinwande, MD, is an industry-leading St. Louis peripheral artery disease specialist. Contact his practice, Midwest Institute for Non-Surgical Therapy, to receive innovative endovascular treatments and amputation prevention.

Causes of Peripheral Artery Disease

PAD results from atherosclerosis. This term refers to a buildup of cholesterol and other fats in the artery wall. This fatty buildup, known as plaque, gradually hardens and enlarges, resulting in progressive blockage of blood flow through the artery. PAD occurs in arteries that carry blood from your heart to your limbs and commonly affect your legs.

Symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease

Symptoms usually arise from significant blocking of the blood flow. You may experience signs and symptoms like:

  • Leg weakness or numbness.
  • Ulcers on your lower legs, toes, and feet.
  • Leg pain, aching, or cramping when walking that subsides when you rest.
  • Pale, discolored, blue-colored, leg or foot.
  • Tingling sensations in your foot.
  • Shiny skin on the impacted leg.
  • Pain while resting (in severe PAD).
  • One foot that feels colder than the other.
  • Lack of hair or toenail growth on the afflicted leg.

Arterial ulcers cannot heal independently. Luckily, immediate advanced wound care at MINT can prevent them from cascading and causing infections and gangrene.

How Does PAD Result in Amputation?

When atherosclerotic plaque blocks your artery, the muscles, skin, and other tissues fail to get sufficient blood. Without blood, tissues lack the nutrients and oxygen they need to survive. At an advanced stage, PAD severely stops or restricts blood flow. This condition, known as critical limb ischemia, can lead to gangrene, tissue death, and amputation in most cases.

Treatment of Peripheral Artery Disease

Dr. Goke and his team at MINT conducts diagnostic imaging, such as duplex ultrasound, to examine your arteries and determine the degree of blockage. If your PAD is discovered early, you can improve your blood flow by making lifestyle changes.

If the condition has reached an advanced stage, a minimally invasive procedure might be crucial to remove the blockage and restore circulation. The providers at MINT conduct cutting-edge techniques in the office under mild sedation. Your specialist performs minimally invasive methods using real-time imaging to direct a catheter through your artery to the blockage. All these procedures only require a tiny pinhole incision. Treatment options include:

  • Balloon Angioplasty

Once the catheter is at the blockage, your specialist inflates a balloon. This balloon flattens the plaque against the arterial wall, restoring circulation.

  • Stenting

Your provider places a stent (a small mesh tube) in the artery after extracting the plaque in this alternative. The stent stays put and holds the artery open.

  • Atherectomy

During an atherectomy, your doctor uses a device that cuts out or grinds away the plaque.

What Is Amputation Prevention?

Amputation prevention entails taking early and aggressive precautions to preserve and heal your lower leg, toes, and foot. It begins with vascular screening to examine your risk and diagnose PAD in its early stages.

Bottom Line

For more information concerning the screening and treatment of PAD, contact the Midwest institute for Non-Surgical Therapy. Call or schedule your appointment online today.

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Peripheral artery disease (PAD) can have devastating effects in its advanced stages if left unmanaged. In the worst case, you may suffer lower limb amputation. Goke Akinwande, MD, is an industry-leading St. Louis peripheral artery disease specialist. Contact his practice, Midwest Institute for Non-Surgical Therapy, to receive innovative endovascular...