Amputations Reduced for Patients with Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)
Research presented at the International Symposium on Endovascular Therapy showed that patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) who face amputation of their foot or leg can have their limb saved by improving the blood flow through a minimally invasive procedure to clear blocked arteries.
The key to reducing amputations is education, according to the doctor who led the study. Doctors who treat high risk patients, such as those with diabetes or kidney failure, should refer patients to doctors who are endovascular specialists.
Amputation rates dropped 79% for patients tested and treated in a limb salvage program as part of the study. Patients underwent an angiogram, and if blockages were found they had a procedure to clear the blockages and restore circulation, such as angioplasty or atherectomy.
Approximately 8 million people in the United States have peripheral arterial disease, according to the CDC. And it affects men and women equally.
Several risk factors contribute to peripheral arterial disease. They include:
High Blood Pressure
Age (Persons Over the Age of 60 are at higher risk)
Common symptoms of peripheral arterial disease include:
Leg or foot pain
Pain while walking
Leg or foot that is cool to the touch
Non-healing wounds or ulcers
Cold or numb toes
If you have any of these symptoms you should consult your doctor. Peripheral arterial disease can be treated, but not without proper detection.