Treatment for Peripheral Artery Disease in Houston
Texas Endovascular is Houston’s Leading Vein Treatment Center
Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) occurs when plaque slows blood flow from the heart to the rest of the body. Plaque that builds up inside of arteries is made up mainly of cholesterol, calcium, fibrin, and fatty substances. It causes the arteries to narrow and harden, a condition known as Atherosclerosis. Because the plaque reduces blood flow to vital organs and limbs, they cannot keep up with the body’s demands.
Since plaque narrows arteries and prevents the blood from flowing as it should, a blood clot can form on the plaque’s surface, or a piece of the plaque can break off and stop the flow completely, resulting in a heart attack or stroke.Arteries also bring blood away from the heart to supply the arms and legs. PAD limits the flow of oxygen containing blood to the legs which can cause leg pain and cramping with exertion as well as ulcers on the feet and toes. If PAD goes untreated long enough, gangrene can set in, leading to amputation.
Dr. William Fox, Dr. Eric Hardee and Dr. AJ Valenson are board-certified interventional radiologists providing comprehensive vein treatments. The team at Texas Endovascular will make an accurate diagnosis based on your symptoms and provide you with an in depth treatment plan. Learn more about PAD and schedule your consultation at any of our four offices in the Greater Houston area.
Common Symptoms of PAD
Individuals with peripheral arterial disease do not always experience symptoms. This is often a result of the disease gradually worsening over many years, making the signs rather difficult to notice. Even those who encounter mild to moderate symptoms of PAD may mistake them for generalized pain or cramping within the legs. Too often, patients do not seek professional care until their health worsens to the point that symptoms become severe and debilitating.
- Coldness or numbness of the legs and feet
- Discoloration in the legs
- Cramping of the hips, thighs, or calf muscles
- Difficulty in healing from minor wounds of the legs or feet
- Burning or aching sensations of the feet
- Poor toenail growth
- Pain while or soon after walking
- Slowed hair growth on the legs
- Erectile dysfunction
Early on, individuals with PAD often experience mild cramping and pain in the lower legs during active periods of walking or running. This pain can usually be relieved by resting the legs for a while, but will return once the activity is resumed. Many assume that the pain must not be a serious issue since it can come and go with simple rest, which commonly leads the person to let their symptoms of peripheral arterial disease to progressively worsen until the pain is great enough to warrant a visit with their physician.
Ideally, you should contact Texas Endovascular as soon as you notice pain in the legs that occurs during day to day activities like walking. With simple diagnostic testing and minimally invasive treatments available throughout there is no need to avoid activities you love to keep your leg pain under control.
Risk Factors and Diagnosing PAD
PAD is a common disease among Americans. It most often affects the legs of smokers, diabetics, and people over 50. It also affects those with an inactive lifestyle, those with high blood pressure or high cholesterol, and those with a history of vascular disease in their family.
PAD usually goes untreated because people mistake it for a consequence of aging, or because healthcare professionals do not diagnose it. If left untreated, PAD could result in serious and potentially life threatening consequences. PAD can easily be diagnosed in the office with a bedside test called an Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI), which uses ultrasound and blood pressure cuffs to evaluate the circulation in your arms and legs. If this test is abnormal we may order further imaging tests such as Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) or Computed Tomography (CT) to determine the extent of your problem and help us plan your treatment.
Peripheral Artery Disease Treatment in Houston, TX
State-of-the-Art Vein Treatments at Texas Endovascular
At Texas Endovascular, we are passionate about treating patients who suffer from PAD. We use the most up to date, state-of-the-art equipment available. Using minimally invasive procedures that do not require an overnight hospital stay, our team provides treatments such as Angioplasty, Stenting, and Atherectomy. These methods prevent the need for large incisions and open surgery in many cases. As a result, patients are often discharged the same day with minimal recovery time needed.
During your procedure Dr. Hardee or Dr. Fox will insert a small IV and wire through the groin. Once a blood vessel has been accessed, they will use imaging to guide the wire into position past the affected artery. From here, the diseased artery will be treated using a balloon to widen the blood vessel (angioplasty) or a stent to hold open the vessel and increase blood flow. Treatment style is selected depending on the unique circumstances to each patient case to maximize success and minimize complications.
Endovascular treatment of Peripheral Artery Disease can be a technically challenging procedure that demands the expertise of an experienced vascular surgeon. In addition to the skills of the surgeon, the location of the PAD and the capabilities of the hospital all influence the outcome of the procedure.