Sunday, September 23, 2018

Peripheral Arterial Disease, the big killer

Posted On : April 28,2015

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) is caused by blockage of blood flow to legs and hands resulting in blackening of toes (Gangrene) and non-healing ulcers.

In severe cases especially in diabetic patient, it may result in amputation of toes and even feet.

Atherosclerosis, Smoking and Diabetes are the major causes of PAD. Abnormal lipids (high cholesterol), high blood pressure, obesity and certain other factors are also risk factors for Peripheral Arterial Disease.

Dr. Ajay Yadav, Vascular Surgeon, Sir Gangaram Hospital, Delhi says, “Patients usually have pain and cramps in legs during walking. They may also have non- healing ulcers, blackish discoloration of toes and feet. The pain in the toes, feet and calves may hamper sleep in the night. This is also known as “Rest Pain”.

The best way to prevent PAD is to control diabetes, stop smoking, healthy diet, regular exercise, correct medications for high cholesterol and control blood pressure. One should avoid high fat foods; if diabetic follow the dietary advice of your doctor, control salt in your diet. The diet has to be tailored to individual needs. Exercise helps a lot by increasing the number smaller arteries in the extremities and can form natural bypasses. Proper exercise may eventually help improve the results of any intervention or even avoid an amputation.

"The treatment depends on the site of PAD and the stage. Balloon and stenting have generally replaced invasive surgery as the first-line treatment for Peripheral Vascular Disease where an interventional radiologist inflates a balloon to open the blood vessel narrowed or blocked, and in some cases this is then held open with a stent. Most patients do well with angioplasty and lifestyle modifications," adds Dr. Yadav.