(Ed. note - As it is heart month, we asked Dr. Rocco Ciocca, Chief of Vascular Surgery, to explain a little more about heart attacks and peripheral artery disease.)
In the last blog we defined a condition known as PAD, which is a constellation of problems related to narrowing of the arteries outside the heart.
PAD, If left untreated, can lead to having a stroke, worsening high blood pressure, difficulty walking, non-healing sores on the legs and feet and in extreme cases gangrene necessitating amputation of the involved body part.
I briefly mentioned how it can be diagnosed and would like to describe that in more detail here.
The great news is that doctors do not need order a bunch of painful or expensive tests to diagnosis PAD. The best and most cost-effective test is a thorough history and physical exam. During that, the health care provider will listen to your symptoms and ask questions about your medical history and your risk factors.
The major risk factors for PAD are:
- hypertension (high blood pressure)
- high cholesterol levels