Nearly 18 million people in the United States have peripheral artery disease (PAD), and about half of those don’t know it. Peripheral artery disease is a vascular condition that increases your risks of having a heart attack or stroke. Maryland Cardiology Associates in Greenbelt, Maryland, offers advanced diagnostic testing and treatment for peripheral artery disease. Call the office or click the website booking button to make an appointment today.

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What is peripheral artery disease?

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a circulatory problem that affects the arteries in your extremities. Most often, the arteries in your legs.

The circulation problem develops from a buildup of plaque along the blood vessel wall (atherosclerosis), narrowing the passageway, and reducing the delivery of oxygen-rich blood to your extremities.

What are the symptoms of peripheral artery disease?

Not everyone with peripheral artery disease has symptoms, which is why so many people with the condition go undiagnosed.

Leg pain when walking or climbing stairs that goes away when you rest, medically known as claudication, is the most common symptom of PAD. Other symptoms of peripheral artery disease include:

  • Leg swelling
  • Leg numbness or weakness
  • Change in leg hair or toenail growth
  • One leg feeling colder than the other
  • Chronic leg ulcers
  • Shiny skin on the legs
  • Weak pulse in the legs or feet

Erectile dysfunction in men may also be a symptom of PAD.

How is peripheral artery disease diagnosed?

Maryland Cardiology Associates conducts a comprehensive cardiac exam when you come in for an evaluation. The three-stage exam of observation, palpation, and auscultation detects both cardiac and vascular problems.

During the exam, your provider may run various diagnostic tests to confirm or rule out peripheral artery disease. Maryland Cardiology Associates is a state-of-the-art facility and uses the innovative QuantaFlo™ PAD test to make a diagnosis.

QuantaFlo is a noninvasive test that uses a simple toe and finger sensor and advanced technology to assess blood flow in your arms and legs.

How is peripheral artery disease treated?

Treatment for your peripheral artery disease focuses on alleviating your symptoms and preventing further plaque buildup in your blood vessels. Maryland Cardiology Associates creates a custom treatment plan that best meets your needs, which may include:

  • Heart-healthy diet
  • Regular exercise program
  • Limiting the amount of time you spend sitting or standing
  • Compression stockings
  • Medication to control high blood pressure or high cholesterol
  • Blood thinners

Maryland Cardiology Associates also performs vascular procedures to treat PAD, including:

Atherectomy and stent

During an atherectomy and stent, your cardiologist removes the buildup of plaque along the blood vessel wall to improve blood flow and places a stent to keep the blood vessel open.

Angioplasty and stent

Angioplasty and stent procedure also opens the blood vessel to improve blood flow. However, during the angioplasty, your cardiologist inflates a balloon in your blood vessel to widen the passageway and then places a stent to keep it open.

Call Maryland Cardiology Associates, or book an appointment online today for comprehensive peripheral artery disease treatment.