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Critical Limb Ischemia

Coastal Heart Medical Group -  - Cardiology

Coastal Heart Medical Group

Cardiology & Vascular Specialists located in Santa Ana, CA & Chino Hills, CA

If you suffer from pain, cramping, or numbness in your feet and legs, or have ulcers or sores that don’t heal, you may have critical limb ischemia, a severe form of peripheral artery disease. At Coastal Heart Medical Group, in Santa Ana, California, the team offers expert diagnosis and customized treatments for critical limb ischemia, including minimally invasive catheterized angiograms. Call Coastal Heart Medical Group or make an appointment online today.

Critical Limb Ischemia Q & A

What is critical limb ischemia?

Critical limb ischemia is a severe type of peripheral artery disease in which blockages in the arteries of your legs disrupt efficient circulation. Critical limb ischemia causes symptoms including:

  • Pain and numbness in your lower legs and feet
  • Changes to your skin texture
  • Thick toenails
  • Reduced pulse in your legs and feet
  • Sores and ulcers that don’t heal

When left untreated, critical limb ischemia can lead to gangrene and amputation.

What is peripheral artery disease?

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a common cardiovascular condition where the arteries in your legs, and sometimes your arms, head, and abdomen, become narrow and inhibit your circulation. PAD is often due to atherosclerosis, which is the buildup of plaque in your arteries that reduces your blood flow.

What causes critical limb ischemia?

Your personal and family medical history are the primary indicators of your risk of developing critical limb ischemia. Some of the risk factors for the condition include:

  • Age
  • Tobacco use
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Not getting enough physical activity
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol

You can reduce your risk of critical limb ischemia and PAD by eating a heart-healthy diet that’s low in salt, fat, and sugar, getting regular exercise, and not smoking or using other tobacco products.

How is critical limb ischemia diagnosed?

If you have symptoms of critical limb ischemia or PAD, the team at Coastal Heart Medical Group diagnoses the cause of your symptoms with a physical exam, blood tests, and diagnostic imaging studies like ultrasounds and angiography.

Your doctor checks your pulse at various points in your legs to identify weakness. Tests like Doppler ultrasounds and angiography show your doctor your arteries and blood flow, which allows them to identify any blockages or areas where your arteries are clogged and narrow.

How is critical limb ischemia treated?

The team at Coastal Heart Medical Group provides customized treatments to relieve your critical limb ischemia. In addition to suggesting lifestyle modifications to improve your cardiovascular health, reduce your blood pressure, and regulate your cholesterol levels, they perform minimally invasive surgical procedures to remove blockages and open your arteries. For example, the team offers angioplasty and stent placement to widen an artery and hold it open.

If you’re concerned about critical limb ischemia or peripheral artery disease, call Coastal Heart Medical Group or schedule a consultation online today.