What is Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)?

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is a narrowing of the arteries that carry blood to the legs, stomach, arms and head. When this happens, your extremities don’t receive enough blood flow.

Reduced blood flow can cause symptoms like pain in your legs when walking (claudication). It could be a sign of a more widespread problem in your circulation. Blockages in the arteries can lead to heart attack or stroke.

Symptoms include:

  • Leg cramps when walking, climbing stairs or exercising. Other symptoms can include:
  • Leg pain that does not go away when you are done exercising
  • Foot or toe wounds that won’t heal
  • A decrease in temperature in one leg
  • Poor nail growth on the toes or slow hair growth on the legs

Screening for Peripheral Artery Disease

Ankle-Brachial Index test, or ABI, is a safe and painless test used to determine if blood is circulating properly to your legs. The test uses cuffs to compare the blood pressure in your ankles to the blood pressure in your arms; if the pressure in your ankle is lower than the pressure in your arm, you could have Peripheral Artery Disease.

Risk Factors:

  • High blood pressure
  • Tobacco use
  • Diabetes
  • High blood-fat levels
  • Family history
  • Age
  • Obesity
  • Sleep apnea
  • Lack of exercise

Guthrie offers one vascular screening for three conditions including Peripheral Artery Disease. Consider screening if you:

  • Are a smoker over age 35
  • Are over age 40 with high cholesterol or high blood pressure
  • Diabetic
  • Are over age 40 with a family history of PAD
  • Have difficulty walking, cramps, numbness, or other changes in your legs

How is Peripheral Artery Disease treated?

Treatment for PAD focuses on easing symptoms and preventing the disease from getting worse. Treatments can include lifestyle changes, exercises and medications.

For patients with severe PAD, Guthrie offers endovascular treatments such as atherectomy, angioplasty and stenting.

Vascular Care at Guthrie

  • Our vascular surgery physicians are specially trained in vascular surgery and are board-certified.
  • Guthrie Heart and Vascular Care Center, located in Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital, is a state-of-the-art space for heart and vascular surgeries and procedures. Located near the emergency department and ICU, there are private patient rooms, cardiac catheterization labs, and a hybrid operating room. The unit is centered around quick efficient care of our patients.
  • Hybrid operating room – a state-of-the-art operating room with real-time, high-resolution digital imaging capabilities allowing for complex surgeries and studies to take place simultaneously with an integrated team of heart and valve specialists.

Supervised Exercise Therapy 

Guthrie Cardiac Rehab offers supervised exercise therapy (SET) for people suffering from peripheral artery disease. 

SET is exercise therapy that targets the muscles that hurt when you patients with peripheral artery disease walk, such as the calf, thigh and buttock. It improves circulation, which can reduce or eliminate pain while walking. 

For more information about Guthrie cardiac rehab, click here.  

Guthrie interventional cardiology has advanced training in cardiac catheterization, performing ablation, stenting, angioplasty other structural heart procedures 

Guthrie Cardiac and Vascular team treats patients with circulatory diseases: abdominal aortic aneurysm, carotid artery disease, and peripheral artery disease.