Peripheral Artery Disease

Heart & Vascular Institute -  - Interventional Cardiovascular Specialist

Heart & Vascular Institute

Interventional Cardiovascular Specialists serving Michigan

Peripheral artery disease affects millions of Americans and increases the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Heart & Vascular Institute in Wayne, Dearborn, Detroit, and Southfield, Michigan, is a full-service cardiology practice that offers advanced diagnostic testing and treatment for peripheral artery disease to improve health and reduce your complications. To schedule an evaluation, contact the office most convenient to you by phone or online today.

Peripheral Artery Disease Q & A

What is peripheral artery disease?

Peripheral artery disease refers to a narrowing of your peripheral arteries due to a buildup of plaque along the blood vessel wall, which decreases the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your organs and body parts. 

The narrowing may affect the arteries that deliver blood to your stomach, head, legs, or arms. However, it most commonly affects the arteries in the legs.

What are symptoms of peripheral artery disease?

If you feel pain, cramping, achiness, or tiredness in your legs when walking or climbing stairs, but the discomfort resolves when you’re at rest, these are the most common signs of peripheral artery disease. These symptoms are referred to as intermittent claudication. 

Other symptoms include:

  • Poorly healing sores or wounds on the legs or feet
  • Weak pulse in the feet or legs
  • Change in toenail and leg hair growth

Erectile dysfunction may also be a symptom of peripheral artery disease. 

However, most people with peripheral artery disease don’t experience any symptoms at all, or they attribute the symptoms they di experience to some other cause. 

How is peripheral artery disease diagnosed?

The cardiology team at Heart & Vascular Institute conducts a comprehensive evaluation to diagnose peripheral artery disease. During your exam, your cardiologist reviews your symptoms and your medical and family history, and performs a physical.

To confirm a diagnosis, your cardiologist may perform diagnostic tests, such as:

Ankle-brachial index (ABI)

ABI measures the blood pressure in your ankle and compares it with the blood pressure in your arm. The test allows the cardiologists at Heart & Vascular Institute to get a better idea of the severity and progression of your peripheral artery disease.

Arterial testing ultrasound

Arterial testing is a painless, noninvasive vascular ultrasound that assesses blood flow through your limbs to look for abnormalities in circulation.

Peripheral angiogram

Peripheral angiogram, also referred to as peripheral arteriogram, is an X-ray that allows the cardiologists to see blockages in the arteries in your legs. 

How is peripheral artery disease treated?

The cardiology team at Heart & Vascular Institute develops individualized treatment plans for peripheral artery disease based on the results of your exam and testing, the severity of your symptoms, and other risk factors. 

Your treatment plan may focus on lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of having a heart attack or stroke, such as:

  • Diet modification
  • Exercise program
  • Stress management
  • Smoking cessation

Depending on the severity of the blockage, surgical procedures may also be recommended, such as atherectomy, bypass grafting, or angioplasty and stent placement. 

To schedule your peripheral artery disease evaluation, contact Heart & Vascular Institute by calling the office or booking online today.