Diagnosing and Treating Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
When the blood vessels become narrowed or blocked due to plaque buildup (called atherosclerosis), there is decreased blood flow to the muscles of the leg and foot. This is known as peripheral artery disease(PAD) or peripheral vascular disease (PVD).
The Blank Vascular Center provides a full spectrum of diagnosis and treatment for peripheral artery disease, including an on-site ICAVL (Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Vascular Laboratories) accredited vascular laboratory for non-invasive testing.
Our specialists use advanced Doppler ultrasound evaluations to assess blood flow in the arteries. Duplex imaging reflects sound waves off the arteries to highlight size and shape, as well as potential blockage and narrowing within.
is an x-ray examination of a patient’s arteries to determine if there are blockages that need further treatment. During an angiogram, surgeons trained in endovascular techniques insert a thin catheter tube through a small hole into an artery. Guided by x-ray images, the physician then threads the catheter through the artery to the potential problem area. Contrast dye is then injected into the catheter to illuminate the arteries during x-rays. The catheter is then removed and pressure is applied to the incision. No stitches are needed.
Based on your diagnosis and severity of your symptoms, the vascular specialists may elect to treat your condition medically with lifestyle and risk factor modifications, walking exercises, and medications.
Minimally Invasive Treatment
Blank Center surgeons perform cutting-edge, minimally invasive procedures such as angioplasty and stent placement to improve blood flow in arteries affected by PAD. They are described below:
Also known as balloon angioplasty, this procedure is used to relieve blockage of an artery due to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Surgeons insert a tiny, deflated balloon attached to a catheter through a small hole into an artery. Using X-rays for visualization, the specialist directs the catheter to the blockage in the vessel. Once there a balloon is inflated to flatten the plaque back against the blood vessel walls, effectively re-opening the vessel. The balloon is then deflated and removed.
Angioplasty is a highly precise intervention that may require a one-night hospital stay. The Blank Vascular Center staff will make arrangements for you if this is necessary.
Stents are mesh metal tubes, or “cages” that are inserted and expanded to ensure blocked arteries remain open after angioplasty. After the angioplasty balloon is inserted and the artery is opened, interventional specialists position a stent to keep the weakened artery from collapsing on itself.
A one-night hospital stay is usually required after stent placement.
The blockage in the arteries may be too severe for minimally invasive treatment. The surgeon may discuss open surgical options to restore blood flow. Bypass surgery is the rerouting of blood flow from above the blockage in an artery to below the blockage in an artery. Usually a vein is used but it is sometimes necessary to use a graft. A graft is a synthetic tube that is used instead of vein to reroute the blood flow. There are several different types of bypass surgeries depending on where the blockage on the artery occurs. Their names describe the arteries above and below the blockage.
Blood is rerouted from the abdominal aorta to the femoral arteries.
Femoral Popliteal bypass
Blood is rerouted from femoral artery to popliteal artery
Femoral tibial bypass
Blood is rerouted from femoral artery to the tibial artery.
To refer a patient to The Blank Vascular Center, please call 215-887-5934.