Baptist Health Richmond: Treating Peripheral Artery Disease
Cardiologist Ananth Kumar defines peripheral artery disease and its symptoms and talks about the importance of prevention, describing how the condition is diagnosed and treated.
Treating Peripheral Artery Disease HealthTalks Transcript
Ananth Kumar, MD, Cardiology
Peripheral artery disease is actually a reflection of the disease process in the body, which is manifested in a form other than being a heart attack. Once one is diagnosed with peripheral artery disease, it is a given norm that their life expectancy goes down by about 10 years. The symptoms usually are low back pain, hip pain, calf pain or foot pain on ambulation. The treatment starts with medical treatment, that is: quit the cigarettes, quit the cigarettes, quit the cigarettes — it cannot be said enough number of times — control sugar, control blood pressure and keep the cholesterol down. When people have function-limiting claudication, that is, they are not able to do their everyday activity without having pain, it’s time to do an angiogram. The angiogram is very similar to a heart catheterization wherein the dye is run down the leg, and the level of blockage or occlusion is evaluated and treatment options possible. Most of the peripheral arterial disease processes are amenable for treatment with catheters. Regulating stents and balloons are now entering the field. We today can access the arteries to fix the arteries at all and every level, and patients are getting lasting, beautiful results.