A Spotlight on Peripheral Artery Disease
Do you experience leg pain at night? Sure, it could be something as simple as dehydration or even muscle fatigue causing you to experience leg cramps. This kind of leg pain is little more than a nuisance. But sometimes, leg pain can signal something more serious. Nighttime leg pain and discomfort are early symptoms of PAD (Peripheral Artery Disease). At Lam Vascular & Associates, we see many patients who are referred to us for things like unexplained leg pain, foot wounds that won’t heal, artery problems in legs and more. We even have a facility dedicated to diagnosing and treating these conditions. It’s called The Limb Salvage Center and is located onsite at the Dallas location of Lam Vascular & Associates.
Symptoms of PAD in Legs and Feet
Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is a common medical condition in which a build-up of plaque due to atherosclerosis makes it difficult for blood to circulate through the arteries. It primarily affects the legs and feet.
Not everyone has symptoms in the early stages of PAD. However, for those who do, the most common Peripheral Artery Disease symptoms include:
- Painful cramping in the thigh or calf muscles, especially after certain activities such as walking or climbing stairs
- Leg numbness or weakness
- Coldness in lower leg or foot
- Leg tingling that wakes you up at night
- Sores on toes, feet or legs that won’t heal
- Change in color of skin on legs
- Hair loss or slower hair growth on feet and legs
- Slower growth of toenails
- Shiny skin on legs
- Weak or no pulse in legs or feet
The reason we want you to pay attention to leg pain and be on the lookout for symptoms is this: Undiagnosed or untreated PAD can lead to serious complications, including amputation. In addition, PAD is also a risk factor for heart attack and stroke.
How Do You Treat Peripheral Artery Disease?
In most patient cases, we use lifestyle modification and medications as the first line of defense against PAD. That is, unless your condition is negatively affecting your lifestyle or if your health is at risk. In many cases, walking is a great way to keep PAD under control. Check out one PAD patient’s story about how a daily walking regimen helps him keep his PAD at bay.
But if your PAD symptoms become lifestyle-limiting, we may recommend intervention. We offer minimally invasive procedures that we can safely and conveniently perform at The Limb Salvage Center using state-of-the-art technology. This allows for a faster recovery and no overnight stay in most cases.
Angioplasty and Stenting
Angioplasty is a procedure in which one of our vascular experts inserts a tube called a catheter inside the affected artery. At the tip of the catheter is a small balloon that is expanded at the site of the blockage. This forces the artery to widen, allowing blood flow to increase. After the artery has been expanded, a stent is placed to keep the walls of the arteries from collapsing. This provides a long-term solution for improving blood flow. Learn more here.
In this procedure, we place a catheter within the artery. But this time, instead of using a balloon, there is a small high-energy ultraviolet light used to break up the plaque blocking the artery. No stents are necessary since we have removed the plaque from the artery. Learn more here.
Your Next Step Matters
Dr. Russell Lam and his team of vascular experts are Dallas’ trusted resource for comprehensive vascular care. They’ve been recognized and awarded many times over for the work they do in amputation prevention and more.
If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, our PAD Resources Portal has everything you need to learn everything you need to know about this condition. And if you need us, we are here for you, with locations in Dallas, Rockwall, Arlington and Sunnyvale.