Hager Advanced Vein Care
Jeffrey C. Hager, DO, FACOS
Vascular Surgeon located in Manahawkin, NJ & Toms River, NJ
Peripheral arterial disease develops when sticky plaque builds up in your arteries and affects the circulation in your legs. If you have this condition, board-certified vascular surgeon Jeffrey Hager, DO, FACOS, at Hager Advanced Vein Care, can help. At their locations in Manahawkin and Toms River, New Jersey, Dr. Hager and his team offer expert peripheral arterial disease treatment, including angioplasty with stent and endarterectomy. Call Hager Advanced Vein Care today to schedule a consultation or make an appointment request online.
Peripheral Arterial Disease Q & A
What is peripheral arterial disease?
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a condition that develops in the arteries that deliver blood around your body. The same disorder can affect the arteries serving your heart, which is known as coronary artery disease (CAD).
Peripheral arterial disease develops when a substance made of cholesterol mixed with calcium and other debris in your blood starts forming. This substance is called plaque, and it gradually accumulates on the walls of your arteries.
As the plaque levels increase, the space for blood to flow through your arteries decreases. The arteries can eventually become blocked, stopping blood flow altogether.
Peripheral arterial disease is more likely to reach a serious stage if you have a condition that damages the walls of your arteries, like high blood pressure. While it's possible for peripheral arterial disease to develop in any artery, it's most likely to affect your legs.
What symptoms does peripheral arterial disease cause?
One of the main symptoms of peripheral arterial disease is claudication, where your legs hurt while you're walking but feel better when you rest. Other common symptoms include:
- Heaviness and tiredness in your legs
- Muscle cramps
- Numbness in your legs
- Skin rashes
- Discolored skin
- Slow leg hair growth or hair loss
- Nonhealing leg wounds (ulcers)
If you have peripheral arterial disease and don't receive treatment, you could develop critical limb ischemia. This condition is a result of a chronic lack of oxygen and nutrients in the leg that causes tissue deterioration, leading to infection, gangrene, and possibly the loss of your leg.
How is peripheral arterial disease treated?
As the cause of peripheral arterial disease is typically lifestyle-related, making changes in your eating and exercise habits is an important first step to improving the health of your arteries.
Weight loss, cutting down on unhealthy fats in your diet, and keeping fit can all make a significant difference to your health. The vascular team can advise you on the specific steps you need to take and how best to achieve change.
You might also need to take medication to treat high blood pressure and high cholesterol, at least to begin with.
If your arteries are severely narrowed or blocked, you might have to undergo a procedure called balloon angioplasty and stenting. The vascular team uses a catheter — a slim tube — to carry a special balloon along the affected artery.
When it's in place, they inflate the balloon, which presses the plaque down flat. They can then place a mesh tube called a stent into the artery to keep it open. If the plaque is too hard, they might need to perform an endarterectomy to scrape the plaque out of the artery.
If your legs are painful or uncomfortable, call Hager Advanced Vein Care today to arrange a consultation or book an appointment online.