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Doctor insights on: Is Peripheral Arterial Disease Life Threatening Is It Curable

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Is peripheral arterial disease life threatening? Is it curable?

Is peripheral arterial disease life threatening? Is it curable?

Possibly: Although disease of the arteries of the legs is seldom life threatening untonitself, it is often a marker of more diffuse atherosclerotic disease including carotid disease and coronary heart disease. Therefore, strokes and heart attacks can manifest in many patients with pad. ...Read more

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Dr. Scott Keith
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Artery (Definition)

Arteries are a type of blood vessels. We can divide blood vessels into 2 categories. Arteries are high pressure vessels which deliver (red) oxygen + blood out into the body. Veins on the other hand or low pressure vessels which return (dark) oxygent - blood from the body ...Read more


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Is peripheral arterial disease always life threatening?

Is peripheral arterial disease always life threatening?

Not always: PAD is typically not life threatening. Can cause pain when walking or pain at rest. However with severe pain and or ulcers and foot and toe discoloration this can be significant and progress the significant complications. ...Read more

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How do cigarettes cause peripheral arterial disease?

How do  cigarettes cause peripheral arterial disease?

Bad stuff: The key ingredient in cigarettes is nicotine. Our arteries have a muscular lining that can relax to increase flow and "squeeze" to reduce flow. Nicotine causes the lining to squeeze down and also causes damage to the lining which causes inflammation. Hard calcium is deposited which further narrows the vessels permanently reducing blood flow. This occurs in every artery when you smoke! ...Read more

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Please let me know if there is a cure for peripheral arterial disease?

Please let me know if there is a cure for peripheral arterial disease?

No cure: There is no cure but it is treatable with balloons, surgery, and medications. ...Read more

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What are some treatments for peripheral arterial disease?

Lots of Choices: Usually, initial treatments are conservative, exercise, cessation of smoking, medicines to make the blood flow better and to reduce cholesterol. More aggressive is to open blockages with balloons or stents. Finally, surgery to bypass around the blockages or directly clean out the blocked artery is sometimes needed. ...Read more

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Are there treatment options for peripheral arterial disease?

Are there treatment options for peripheral arterial disease?

Treat symptoms: The mere presence of narrowing or compromise of blood flow in arteries is not a reason for treatment unless there are symptoms. Ulcers, pain, gangrene are symptoms that in the presence of pad need to be treated. Just because there is narrowing of the arteries without symptoms, does not warrant any treatment. Prevention by not smoking, blood sugar and cholesterol control and excercise will help. ...Read more

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Why does untreated peripheral arterial disease lead to loss of leg?

Why does untreated peripheral arterial disease lead to loss of leg?

PAD Leg Loss: Without the ability for blood to travel in the arteries to supply oxygen to the tissues of the distal leg, those tissues become at risk for tissue death. With tissue death, there will be loss of limb. ...Read more

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Is there a cure for peripheral arterial disease? What are the treatments available now?

Is there a cure for peripheral arterial disease? What are the treatments available now?

No cure but...: Treatment always starts with risk factor management..Smoking cessation, lipid control, BP control, exercise, wt loss. Balloon angioplasty, stenting, athrectomy, direct removal of plaque (endarterectomy) and bypass surgery are all possible treatments depending on symptoms. Vascular surgeons provide all of these and so are uniquely qualified to manage patients with pad in an unbiased manner. ...Read more

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Is it possible for an ECG to detect pad -peripheral arterial disease?

different area: An ECG ( electro cardio gram) is used to divide await the electrical impulses that affect the heart. Peripheral arterial disease is detected by feeling the pulses, and using an arterial doppler to measure blood flow and compare the arterial pressure in the arm arteries and leg arteries. However in someone with pad, there is a possibility of cardiac artery disease so you should be evaluated. ...Read more

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Does peripheral arterial disease always start in the legs?

Not always: Pad can technically refer to any arterial disease outside the aorta or coronary vasculature. It is frequently in the legs, but also commonly in the carotid arteries, and sometimes in the arteries of the arms or stomach organs. The last two are rarer. Pad is important because the underlying process that causes arterial blockages is essentially the same no matter which arteries are involved. ...Read more

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Dr. Bradley Thomas
369 doctors shared insights

Peripheral Arterial Disease (Definition)

Peripheral arterial disease is a condition in which a person has atherosclerosis in vessels outside the heart. The person has build-up of fat, cholesterol, and other substances in the walls of his arteries. This build-up forms ...Read more