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Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

Coastal Heart Medical Group -  - Cardiology

Coastal Heart Medical Group

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

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) affects more than 10 million Americans and is a leading cause of leg pain and cramping. The cardiovascular specialists at Coastal Heart Medical Group offer comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of PAD to help you feel more comfortable and reduce your risk of cardiac complications. The Santa Ana, California, cardiology practice has provided award-winning care for more than 30 years. To experience excellence in diagnosis and treatment, schedule a visit online or by phone today.

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) Q & A

What is peripheral arterial disease?

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a chronic condition that causes plaque to build up in the arteries of the legs. The plaque is made up of fatty cholesterol deposits that attach to the walls of your arteries over time. In severe cases, plaque can grow large enough to block the flow of blood in your legs. Pieces of plaque may also break off as clots and can travel to your heart or lungs.

What causes peripheral arterial disease?

PAD is caused by lifestyle habits and conditions that increase plaque buildup in your arteries. Common causes of PAD include:

  • High cholesterol or high triglycerides
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney failure
  • Obesity

PAD is more common in adults over the age of 65, though it can affect men and women of all ages.

What are the signs of peripheral arterial disease?

In some cases, you may not experience any symptoms in the early stages of PAD. As the condition progresses, common symptoms of PAD include:

  • Muscle fatigue in the legs
  • Cramping in the legs, especially when walking
  • Pain in the toes or feet when resting
  • An open wound on the toes or feet

These symptoms aren’t typically severe until the later stages, so it might be easy to ignore them. With early diagnosis and treatment, you can reduce your risk of future complications.

How is peripheral arterial disease diagnosed?

The team diagnoses PAD based on your symptoms, medical and family history, and a physical exam. During your exam, the team applies pressure to your legs to assess for tenderness and discomfort, and checks your pulse at points on your legs and feet to check your circulation.

Advanced testing includes a blood pressure reading at your ankle and an angiogram to look at the plaque buildup in your arteries.

How is peripheral arterial disease treated?

Depending on the severity of your condition, your treatment plan may include lifestyle changes like quitting smoking or losing weight. Your physician may prescribe medications to lower your cholesterol and improve your circulation.

In some cases, the doctors may surgically place catheters in your arteries to hold them open and prevent plaque from blocking blood flow. The team offers the most advanced surgical treatment options to decrease your discomfort.

To learn more about PAD testing and treatment, schedule an appointment online or by phone now at Coastal Heart Medical Group.