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The PAD Diagnostic Process

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) affects 1 in 20 of America’s adult population over age 50, and more than half of limb amputation patients lost their limbs due to PAD and other vascular diseases. 

Due to malfunctions or blockages in your arteries, your body’s ability to pump oxygenated blood to your legs or other limbs can cause severe leg pain, leg cramps when walking, difficulty healing wounds on the feet or lower leg and an eventual need for amputation.

Lam Vascular & Associates wants to protect your limbs and your life. How? By detecting PAD before symptoms become a hindrance to your quality of life and risk a need for amputation. By treating PAD symptoms before they became inoperable, our vascular experts at Lam Vascular & Associates have prevented countless limbs from amputation. 

When should you see our vascular specialists?

There are many signs that indicate that it is time to see one of our specialists at Lam Vascular & Associates. Of course, the main indication that you may have PAD is a coupling of preexisting diabetes and/or high blood pressure with pain in one or both legs. However, we also see many patients who have been told by other doctors that amputation is their only remaining choice.

Dr. Lam opened the Limb Salvage Center with the latest technologies available to vascular surgeons in order to provide patients the safe and effective option to avoid amputation after a PAD diagnosis. Because of this in-office, outpatient operating room, Dr. Lam and our other experts have been able to save countless limbs from amputation.

What to expect throughout the diagnosing process

The first step to a healthier vascular system is getting a proper diagnosis. The process to a diagnosis for PAD remains as non-invasive as possible. 

Step one in the diagnostic process is the performance of an ankle-brachial index (ABI) test. This involves a healthcare professional taking blood pressure measurements at both your arm and your ankle. A low test result could indicate the thinning of blood vessels in the leg, a main indicator of PAD.

Based on the results of your ABI test, you may then undergo an arterial doppler ultrasound, which allows sound waves to measure the amount of blood that flows through the veins and arteries in your legs. 

After these two tests, you may receive a PAD diagnosis. If your doctor deems it necessary, you may be recommended to undergo other imaging to determine the extent of the narrowing of your arteries.

Creating a treatment plan with your doctor

After a diagnosis is given, your doctor will work with you to create a treatment plan tailored to your needs. Some with PAD may not experience symptoms, therefore resulting in an asymptomatic PAD diagnosis. For these patients, their treatment regimen may include lowering their blood pressure and cholesterol, reducing weight or eliminating smoking.

For those diagnosed with symptomatic PAD, treatment options will depend on the severity and progression of the illness. At Lam Vascular & Associates, there are several revascularization procedures that may be recommended. In some cases, minimally-invasive laser atherectomy, balloon angioplasty and stent placement procedures might be recommended. More information about these procedures and more can be found here.

Don’t wait! If you’re concerned, come see us!

If you’re worried about the possibility of PAD, we want to ease your concerns. By setting up an appointment at one of our many clinics, we will be able to get to know you and your vascular system. We want to help you on your way to happy and healthy limbs and livelihood. Schedule an appointment online, or call us at 214.345.4160.

The information contained in this website is neither intended to dictate what constitutes reasonable, appropriate or best care for any given health issue, nor is it intended to be used as a substitute for the independent judgment of a physician for any given health issue. Patient results will vary based on risk factors, age, disease and medical history. Please seek physician's advice. Like any procedure, it may come with benefits, risks or side effects associated. Click here for additional information.

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