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Peripheral Artery Disease

Cardiology, Cardiac Electrophysiologists, General Cardiology, Cardiology, Cardiologists & Cardiologist to Women's Health & Cardiology located in Lanham, Bowie, Camp Springs, Largo and Laurel, MD
Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral Artery Disease services offered in Lanham, Bowie, Camp Springs, Largo and Laurel, MD

At least 6.5 million American adults have peripheral artery disease (PAD) today. At Capitol Cardiology Associates, with offices in Lanham, Bowie, Camp Springs, Silver Spring, Laurel, and Largo, Maryland, the compassionate cardiology specialists offer the highest standard of PAD care in a comfortable environment. Book your appointment online or call the office nearest you for help today.

Peripheral Artery Disease Q & A

What is peripheral artery disease (PAD)?

PAD is a circulatory disease affecting the peripheral arteries. It most often causes symptoms in the legs but can also affect the arteries in the arms. 

PAD develops with atherosclerosis when fatty substances (plaque) accumulate in the artery walls. Atherosclerosis narrows the arteries, which reduces the blood reaching your legs. 

PAD can cause uncomfortable symptoms and may lead to serious complications like a heart attack or stroke if undetected. 

What are the symptoms of peripheral artery disease? 

PAD is often asymptomatic or causes minor symptoms that may be mistaken for other problems. Some issues to watch out for include: 

  • Leg pain when walking (claudication), especially in the calves
  • Leg pain that lingers after exercise
  • Slow-healing lower leg or foot wounds
  • Lower leg or foot feels cooler than the rest of your body
  • Slow toenail growth
  • Slow hair growth on the legs
  • Erectile dysfunction 

Symptoms can range from fairly mild to so serious they prevent walking. 

Early detection of PAD is key to preventing life-threatening complications, so it’s important to call Capitol Cardiology Associates if you experience these issues, even just occasionally.

How is peripheral artery disease diagnosed?

There are a variety of tests that can help diagnose PAD, such as:

  • Blood tests: screen for high cholesterol and diabetes
  • Ankle-brachial index (ABI) test: compares ankle and arm blood pressure
  • Ultrasound: imaging of the legs and feet
  • Angiography: X-ray, MRI, or CT test to show blood flow and find blockages

The specific tests you need depend on a few different factors, including your health history. For example, people with pacemakers may get the best results with a CT angiography.

How is peripheral artery disease treated?

PAD treatment can relieve your symptoms and reduce your risk of serious complications. Usually, this means you need a multifaceted treatment approach, including measures such as: 

  • Eating a heart-healthy diet emphasizing veggies, fruits, and whole grains
  • Stopping smoking
  • Exercising regularly
  • Wearing compression hosiery
  • Avoiding excessive standing or sitting
  • Medication to prevent blood clots
  • Statin medication to lower cholesterol
  • Blood pressure medication for hypertension
  • Blood sugar lowering drugs for diabetes
  • Taking Cilostazol, a medicine to treat claudication

You could also need a minimally invasive procedure to remove plaque from your artery walls or widen your artery. After either procedure, a stent (tube) keeps the artery open.

To learn more about how PAD treatment can help you, call Capitol Cardiology Associates or click the online scheduler now.