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Peripheral Artery Disease
Peripheral artery disease, also called peripheral arterial disease, is a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to your limbs. When you develop peripheral artery disease (PAD), your extremities — usually your legs — don't receive enough blood flow to keep up with demand. This causes symptoms, most notably leg pain when walking.
- Painful cramping in your hip, thigh or calf muscles after certain activities, such as walking or climbing stairs (claudication)
- Leg numbness or weakness
- Coldness in your lower leg or foot, especially when compared with the other side
- Sores on your toes, feet or legs that won't heal
- A change in the color of your legs
- Hair loss or slower hair growth on your feet and legs
- Slower growth of your toenails
- Shiny skin on your legs
- No pulse or a weak pulse in your legs or feet
- Erectile dysfunction in men
If medications and lifestyle changes do not provide symptom relief or stop the progression, you may need to be examined by a surgeon in Eau Claire to discuss minimally invasive procedures, such as:
- Angioplasty — A small hollow tube called a catheter is threaded through a blood vessel to the affected artery. A small balloon on the tip of the catheter is inflated to reopen the artery and flatten the blockage into the artery wall, while at the same time stretching the artery open to increase blood flow. A mesh framework called a stent may be inserted in the artery to help keep it open. This is the same procedure used to open heart arteries.
- Bypass surgery — A graft bypass is created using a vessel from another part of your body or a blood vessel made of synthetic fabric. This technique allows blood to flow around, or bypass, the blocked or narrowed artery.
- Thrombolytic therapy — If you have a blood clot blocking an artery, a clot-dissolving drug may be injected into your artery at the point of the clot to break it up.