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What is Peripheral Arterial Disease?

Sep 23, 2019
animation of red blood cells in the blood stream

More than 160,000 amputations are performed each year, many of them as the result of Peripheral Arterial Disease, or PAD. PAD affects nearly 18 million Americans, but knowing the signs early can help prevent you or a loved one from losing a limb.

The team at Cardiovascular Health Clinic specializes in diagnosing and treating PAD. Boasting dedicated, caring physicians and state-of-the-art facilities, we provide comprehensive care with a personalized approach. We are committed to helping you evaluate your risk of developing PAD and treating any symptoms you may already be experiencing.

What is Peripheral Arterial Disease?

PAD is caused by a buildup of plaque on the interior walls of the arteries. Your arteries carry blood from your heart to your legs and feet. However, when arteries begin to harden and constrict due to plaque buildup—a process referred to as atherosclerosis—healthy blood flow is severely diminished. If left undiagnosed and untreated, PAD can lead to limb amputation.

Who is at risk for PAD?

PAD does not target any specific demographic, but there are some common risk factors. You may be at risk for PAD if you are an adult 50 years old or older, a current or former smoker, or an individual diagnosed with the following conditions:

  • Diabetes
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol

If you identify with one or more of these risk factors, speak to a CHC physician today about steps you can take to reduce your risk and prevent the disease from progressing.

What are the symptoms of PAD?

You may have PAD if you are suffering from one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Tiredness, heaviness, or cramping in the leg muscles
  • Toes or feet that look pale, discolored, or blue
  • Leg or foot pain that disturbs your sleep
  • Sores or wounds on your toes, feet, or legs that heal slowly or not at all
  • A leg or foot that feels colder than the other
  • Thick, yellow toenails that are not growing

The more symptoms that you are experiencing, the higher your risk of PAD.

I have been diagnosed with PAD. Now what?

PAD is not reversible or curable, but it is manageable. There is a wide range of steps you can take to help control the symptoms and reduce any pain or discomfort. They may also help to slow or halt disease progression and minimize potential complications.

Lifestyle changes are the simplest and most immediate ways to manage your PAD.

These include:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Managing your diabetes more closely
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Exercising regularly

As with any change to your health regimen, be sure to consult with your doctor before starting any new diet or exercise. He or she can also be a great resource for services and tools to help you get—and stay—on the path toward a healthier life.

Certain medications can be beneficial in controlling PAD symptoms as well.

Our physicians may prescribe medications to:

  • Lower high cholesterol and/or high blood pressure
  • Thin your blood to prevent clots
  • Improve your mobility and reduce leg pain

There are also a variety of possible treatment procedures, including:

  • An angioplasty is a minimally invasive procedure in which a balloon is inflated inside a blocked artery to restore blood flow
  • A stent is a tiny tube placed in the blocked artery to keep it open
  • An atherectomy is another minimally invasive procedure that uses a medical device to open blocked arteries.
  • Bypass surgery is an intensive surgical procedure that uses a blood vessel or synthetic tube to bypass blockages in an artery.

Depending on your unique situation, our physicians may suggest a combination of medication, lifestyle changes, and procedures.

The physicians at CHC are qualified to both diagnose and treat PAD, and you do not need a referral to seek treatment. Call us at (405) 701-9880 or visit our website to book an appointment today and find your best treatment option. Just have questions? Email us at [email protected] or submit your question via our chatbot. We do our best to respond within 24 hours.

PAD is a serious disease, but it is treatable. Early identification can mean the difference between a manageable diagnosis and an amputation. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Contact Cardiovascular Health Clinic today if you think you or a loved one may be at risk for PAD.

Patient Resources

We’re committed to timely, efficient, and affordable care.
Here is a collection of useful resources our new and existing patients need in one convenient location.
Please let us know if you need additional information or have any questions.


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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