Know the Signs of Peripheral Artery Disease

Know the Signs of Peripheral Artery Disease


[MUSIC PLAYING] People with periphereal disease
have cholesterol narrowing of the arteries of
their arms or the legs, just as somebody would
have of the heart. Once you have peripheral
artery disease, your five year
survival is actually worse than some cancers. People with peripheral
artery disease tend to die of
cardiovascular causes. They die of heart attack. They die of heart failure. Why? Because the same
cholesterol buildup problem that’s happening in the legs
is happening in the heart. They just don’t know it yet. So the symptoms can be as
mild as no symptoms, which is the most common presentation
of periphereal artery disease, to something mild like
a heaviness in the calf or thigh worse with walking
that gets better when you stop walking and just stand,
to something as severe as gangrene, non-healing
ulcers that may ultimately require an amputation. The good news about
periphereal artery disease is that if it’s diagnosed,
we have some pretty good treatments for it. Cholesterol lowering medications
like statins and aspirin, supervised walking
programs can really help somebody’s quality of life. There are operations that can
be done to bypass blockages. And just like the field of
interventional cardiology has shifted the paradigm
from open heart operations to minimally invasive
catheter-based interventions, the same thing has happened
for peripheral artery disease. A lot of these cases can
now be treated with balloons and/or stents the way
it’s done in the heart. [MUSIC PLAYING]