Potential Complications of PAD

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is a condition where arteries constrict, affecting blood circulation in the arms and legs. If untreated PAD can cause complications such as heart attack, stroke, and amputation. Dr. Vinod Kumar from Heart Vascular and Leg Center offers minimally invasive treatments to restore your walking ability. Here are potential PAD complications and how you can prevent them.

PAD and potential complications

PAD is often due to atherosclerosis or the accumulation of fatty tissue in the blood vessels. It obstructs blood circulation to the legs and arms.

Oxygen deficiency in muscular tissue can cause leg pain that worsens as you walk. The discomfort usually starts from the calf. Numbness and cramping may occur when performing activities like typing or knitting. You may also notice shiny skin or color changes in your legs.

PAD complications may include:

Risk of amputations

Statistics show approximately 50% of amputations are due to diabetes or PAD. Poor circulation to your limbs and arms can deny arteries and tissues crucial nutrients and oxygen necessary for healing.

The result is foot ulcers that do not seem to heal. It may also cause gangrene due to oxygen deficiency in your limbs. Those issues require prompt treatment to prevent an amputation.

Heart complications

People with PAD are susceptible to developing heart complications. Research shows PAD patients with a co-occurring coronary artery disease have poorer treatment outcomes.

The primary factor causing cardiovascular complications is fatty deposit buildup in the arteries. That is why coronary artery disease is prevalent among PAD patients.

Research has also identified other causal factors influencing cardiovascular events. PAD patients tend to avoid physical activity due to pain and swelling. Unfortunately, the lack of exercise increases the risk of heart disease.

Elevated stroke risk

PAD arises from plaque accumulation which can affect the vessels supplying blood to the brain. A blood clot can start from one area and travel to another part of the body. Sometimes the plaque ruptures and constricts the arteries in your brain.

A stroke attack may cause a loss of mobility, vision problems, general weakness, and severe headaches. You can prevent your risk of a stroke by consulting your doctor whenever you experience PAD symptoms. The earlier you address the problem, the easier it will be to manage the symptoms.

Factors increasing the risk of complications

Smoking damages the arteries and limits the nutrient supply to tissues. Nicotine hardens blood vessels increasing the risk of atherosclerosis. Quitting the habit will not only prevent PAD, but it can also limit the progression of cardiovascular diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

You can also manage PAD symptoms by engaging in mild to moderate physical activities like walking. Exercise strengthens muscles in your limbs and conditions tissues to use oxygen efficiently. A healthy diet can regulate cholesterol levels and limit plaque accumulation.

Your provider will evaluate your family history and health risks to develop a suitable treatment plan. Early prevention can reduce the need for invasive procedures.

For PAD diagnostic tests and treatments, call Heart Vascular and Leg Center or book a consultation online today.