3 Ways to Treat Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

Jul 7, 2022

One in 20 Americans has Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD). This serious condition occurs when calcium and/or cholesterol builds up in the arteries that supply blood to the hands and feet. PAD is life-threatening despite some of the symptoms feeling mild. It usually manifests as calf soreness, non-healing leg wounds, feet turning blue, and heaviness in the legs, and commonly goes undiagnosed.

How to treat Peripheral Artery Disease

The procedure starts when the interventional radiologist puts the patient under moderate sedation and performs an arteriogram. This process takes a picture of your arteries. Then, the doctor guides a hollow needle into the femoral artery in the groin using ultrasound guidance and X-ray. A wire and catheter both advance to inject contrast material, or dye, to identify blockages and vessel narrowing. Then, the doctor can treat the plaque buildup and restore normal flow to the arteries. 

MIVA’s Dr. Silas Williams treats advanced cases of PAD through specialized, minimally invasive arterial interventions, including: 

  • Balloon Angioplasty: A specialized catheter is equipped with an elongated balloon on its tip. It inflates to remove the blockage in the artery.
  • Atherectomy: Plaque buildup is removed in the arteries through specialized catheters that have a laser or grinding functionality.
  • Stent Placement: If the previous solutions are unsuccessful, a stent or a tube made of metal wire is inserted. This keeps the vessel open.

These procedures can take one to four hours depending on complexity and occur as outpatient procedures.

Are you a candidate for PAD?

To find out if you are a candidate for PAD, we recommend coming into our office for a physical examination from Dr. Williams. We recommend you get tested if you fear you have PAD. This is because patients with PAD have an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and limb loss from amputation due to non-treatment.

Click HERE to request an appointment.