Peripheral Arterial Disease

Peripheral Arterial Disease Specialist

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Louisiana Cardiovascular and Thoracic Institute

Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeon located in Alexandria, LA

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a common vascular health issue that usually affects your lower legs. Gary P. Jones, MD, FACS, diagnoses and treats peripheral artery disease at Louisiana Cardiovascular and Thoracic Institute in Alexandria, Louisiana. If you’re concerned about peripheral artery disease, call Louisiana Cardiovascular and Thoracic Institute or schedule a consultation online today for expert assessment and treatments.

Peripheral Arterial Disease

What is peripheral artery disease?

Peripheral artery disease is a circulatory health issue in which your arteries narrow, reducing the blood flow to your extremities. The condition is usually due to atherosclerosis — a condition that occurs when fatty deposits build up on the insides of your arteries and reduce the space available for blood to flow. 

Your risk of PAD increases as you age — more than 20% of people over the age of 75 have the condition. Also, smoking and eating a diet high in fat contribute to your chances of developing the disease. 

What are the symptoms of peripheral artery disease?

PAD reduces the amount of blood that reaches your extremities, which can cause painful and disruptive symptoms, including:

  • Pain or cramping in your calves after walking or exercise
  • Hair loss or slow hair or nail growth on your feet or legs
  • Shiny skin on your lower legs and ankles
  • Legs and feet feeling cold
  • Sores on your legs, ankles, and feet that are slow to heal
  • Erectile dysfunction (ED) in men

It’s also possible that you can have peripheral artery disease and not have any symptoms at all. 

PAD is most often found in the legs and feet, although it can also affect your arms, hands, abdomen, and head. When left untreated, peripheral artery disease can increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, and severe leg ischemia.

How is peripheral artery disease diagnosed?

At Louisiana Cardiovascular and Thoracic Institute, Dr. Jones uses a variety of diagnostic tools to identify peripheral artery disease. In addition to a comprehensive exam, the team may use an ankle-brachial index, arterial ultrasound, or angiogram.

Dr. Jones might also recommend a computerized tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance (MR) assisted angiography to collect more data about your vascular health.

These tests show Dr. Jones how well blood moves through your arteries after it leaves your heart. The team looks for signs of atherosclerosis and specific areas of blockage. 

How is peripheral artery disease treated?

Depending on the severity of your condition, Dr. Jones and his team at Louisiana Cardiovascular and Thoracic Institute offer a variety of treatments for peripheral artery disease, including medication, lifestyle modifications, angioplasty, stenting, and atherectomy. 

During angioplasty, Dr. Jones runs a catheter through your arteries to the blockage and uses a small surgical balloon to open your artery. When necessary, he places a stent to hold your artery open. Atherectomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that uses a catheter and a surgical wire to remove the fatty plaques that narrow and block your arteries. 

Call Louisiana Cardiovascular and Thoracic Institute or schedule a consultation online today for expert diagnosis and treatment for peripheral artery disease.