PAD is a medical condition in which the arteries are narrowed due to plaque buildup. The most common arteries involved in PAD are the arteries in the legs. Patients who have atherosclerosis of the heart are at risk of having PAD. This can narrow the artery and in turn decrease the amount of blood flow to the legs.
- Risk: High blood pressure, high cholesterol, age, smoking and history of diabetes.
- Symptoms: Cramping of the legs and pain/tiredness in the legs while walking. These symptoms can improve with rest, but return with walking/exertion of the legs.
- Treatment: Intervention such as balloon angioplasty, stent and atherectomy.
- Balloon angioplasty re-opens the narrowed arteries using a small wire called a catheter with a balloon-like device at the end of the wire. The device is then inflated at the area with the blockage to push the plaque along the arterial wall and improve blood flow to area.
- Stents are small pieces of metal that are placed in the artery to keep it open and improve the blood flow to the muscle.
- Atherectomy uses a catheter with a sharp blade at one end to scrape and remove plaque from the artery. The catheter is also constructed to collect the removed plaque from the artery.