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Early Detection Saves Limbs: The Importance of PAD Screening

Jun 03, 2024
Elderly women rubs her leg in pain

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) is a serious vascular condition that often remains undetected until symptoms manifest. By the time symptoms appear, PAD may have already progressed significantly, increasing the risk of complications such as non-healing wounds, infections, tissue damage, and limb loss. Early detection through PAD screening is critical to managing the condition, preserving limb function, and improving patient outcomes.

PAD is characterized by the narrowing or blockage of arteries, commonly affecting the lower extremities. The condition develops gradually, and symptoms may not be noticeable until the disease has advanced. Typical symptoms of PAD include leg pain, cramping, numbness, and weakness, particularly during physical activity—a condition known as intermittent claudication.

At Cardiovascular Health Clinic, we recognize the importance of early detection in managing PAD and preventing its potentially devastating consequences. Our multidisciplinary team of nationally-recognized physicians, interventional radiologists, and cardiovascular specialists have and continue to set new standards in the treatment and management of conditions like PAD, and they’re experts in the most advanced modalities available for improving symptoms, lowering the risk of complications, and delivering exceptional patient care.

Screening for PAD Can Save Your Limbs

PAD affects nearly 18 million Americans and leads to more than 160,000 amputations every year. As PAD progresses in the body, plaque gradually builds up in the arteries responsible for moving blood to your legs. The plaque accumulation causes the arteries to harden and restrict, preventing proper blood flow and drastically reducing the amount of blood that is able to reach your legs and feet. If left undiagnosed, PAD can lead to limb amputation.

At Cardiovascular Health Clinic, we are committed to proactive screening for PAD to identify at-risk individuals before symptoms arise. Our specialized screening programs utilize advanced diagnostic tests, including the ankle-brachial index (ABI) and ultrasound imaging. These non-invasive tests allow us to assess blood flow in the extremities, detect arterial blockages, and identify PAD in its earliest stages.

The ankle-brachial index (ABI) is a simple and reliable test that compares blood pressure measurements in the ankles and arms. A lower ABI value indicates reduced blood flow to the legs, suggesting the presence of PAD. Additionally, ultrasound imaging provides detailed visualization of arterial structures, allowing us to identify plaques and blockages within the arteries.

Early detection through PAD screening is essential for three primary reasons:

1. Timely Intervention: Identifying PAD in its early stages enables us to implement timely interventions to slow disease progression and prevent complications. This may include lifestyle modifications, medication to manage symptoms and reduce clotting, and in some cases, minimally invasive procedures to restore blood flow.

2. Preservation of Limb Function: By detecting PAD before significant damage occurs, we can preserve limb function and mobility. Early intervention helps prevent tissue damage, non-healing wounds, and the need for invasive procedures or amputation.

3. Improved Quality of Life: Early detection and treatment of PAD lead to improved patient outcomes and quality of life. Patients can maintain their independence, remain active, and avoid debilitating symptoms that affect daily activities.

Take a Proactive Approach to PAD with CardioVascular Health Clinic

At CardioVascular Health Clinic, we embrace a proactive approach to PAD screening as part of our commitment to providing comprehensive cardiovascular care and promoting vascular health within our community. By raising awareness about the importance of early detection, we empower individuals to take charge of their vascular health and seek timely medical attention when needed.

It's important to note that certain individuals are at higher risk of developing PAD, including those with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, a history of smoking, or a family history of vascular disease. However, PAD can affect anyone, regardless of age or underlying health conditions.

Early detection through PAD screening is a crucial component of effective disease management and prevention. By identifying PAD in its early stages, we can intervene promptly, preserve limb function, and improve outcomes for our patients. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of PAD or is at risk due to underlying health conditions, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with Cardiovascular Health Clinic for personalized screening and preventive care.

Your vascular health matters, and early detection can make a significant difference in preserving limb function and enhancing overall well-being. Together, let's prioritize vascular health and work towards preventing the devastating consequences of PAD through proactive screening and comprehensive care.

Patient Resources

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I’m about one month out and things are so much better. At my two week evaluation my symptom score had gone from a 27 to a 7, and I’m sure it’s even better now. That speaks volumes. Now that I’m post recovery, there is no incontinence, I go to the bathroom much less and there are no ED side effects like there are with other procedures. In regard to my quality of life, well, I don’t maintain my life based on my proximity to a bathroom anymore.

Blaine P., M.D.
Professional staff working in a beautiful facility with great doctors who sincerely care about their patients. Without Dr. Schmidt's skill, I would have needed heart bypass surgery instead of a stent. Follow-up has been thorough. I can't recommend them highly enough.
LeAnn H.

Dr. Jim Melton and all the staff are fantastic. He is an excellent surgeon and his team is GREAT!!!! I just had surgery at the surgery center, I have only great things to say about my experience. Without him I really don't think I would be here to write this. If you’re looking for a good cardiovascular team, they are a 5 star for sure.

Susie H.

Dr. Parsons and staff are amazing. He truly listened to me from the consult. Staff showed genuine care for my progress post procedure. I had my follow up appointment today so satisfied with results. Blake made me comfortable from the start. He is an activist for uterine fibroids treatment beyond the standard.

Tamara M.

Professional and caring staff. Dr. Smith is very knowledgeable and shows genuine concern for your personal health. I enjoyed the background music in the procedure room, it really adds to the relaxing atmosphere.

David L.

Dr. John Schrader is the most personable doctor we know. He stays on top of my dads health care and is genuinely concerned about his health. We never leave his office with questions. He answers them all. Even questions we don’t think of. Always professional but never cold or bad bedside manner. In our opinion he is THE BEST around.
Thank you Dr Schrader.

Kathy J.

I came to Dr. Warren by a self referral for mals when it took me 8yrs 50+ doctors and thousands of dollars spent on no answers. My first visit I was scared I was just going to be gaslighted just like the past however I was pleasantly shocked when Dr. Warren immediately believed me. She took the time to review many disk I had brought from past tests. She never once dismissed me and listened to ever word I had to say. She scheduled one last test to confirm the diagnosis then I was scheduled for surgery right away. Surgery was a success and I can’t thank her and her staff enough. Dr. Warren truly saved my life.

Angie W.

Dr. Garner literally saved my life 18 months ago and I've followed him to his new practice with Cardiovascular Health. He explains things so clearly, listens and is just a very nice person. His staff is great, too! I highly recommend!

D Watts

Some of the nicest staff that I have ever dealt with!! They have been so incredibly awesome to my mom!! Would definitely recommend them to anyone!! Thank you so much for being so great with her!!

Christy G.

The staff, the nurses, and Dr. Parsons were all amazing. Everything was simple and went well – very Bravo Zulu (military phrase meaning "well done"). In addition to the great staff at CardioVascular Health Clinic, the facilities were clean and well maintained. I have no complaints about anything. The whole experience was A1. I would recommend Dr. Parsons to anyone. He made a huge impact on my life.

John W.

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