Peripheral Arterial Disease Specialist

Texas Heart and Vein Multispecialty Group

CARDIOVASCULAR DOCTORS & PODIATRY LOCATED IN Greater Heights, Downtown, Houston, and Kingwood, TX

Peripheral arterial disease is a common condition that affects between 12-20% of Americans aged 60 and older. There’s no cure for peripheral arterial disease, but with early intervention and treatment, it’s possible to manage. At Texas Heart and Vein Multispecialty Group, the team of expert physicians offers comprehensive care for peripheral arterial disease. To make an appointment at the practice in the Greater Heights or Downtown neighborhoods of Houston, Texas, or the location in Kingwood, Texas, call the nearest office today or schedule online.

Peripheral Arterial Disease Q & A

What is peripheral arterial disease?

Peripheral arterial disease is a chronic condition that causes your arteries to narrow, preventing adequate blood flow from reaching your limbs.

Peripheral arterial disease occurs due to the buildup of plaques — fatty deposits made of cholesterol. As the plaques grow in size, your circulation decreases, resulting in a variety of uncomfortable symptoms.

What are the symptoms of peripheral arterial disease?

Symptoms of peripheral arterial disease include:

  • Leg swelling
  • Leg pain
  • Foot ulcers
  • Hair loss on the feet and legs
  • Change in skin color
  • Cold feet
  • Slow growing toenails

As the condition worsens, you might also experience pain in your arms when knitting, writing, or using hand tools. 

When should I see a cardiovascular doctor about peripheral arterial disease?

If you regularly experience leg pain, tingling, or numbness, and it interferes with your daily routine, make an appointment at Texas Heart and Vein Multispecialty Group. That’s especially true if you’re over the age of 65, have a history of smoking, or have an underlying health problem like diabetes or high blood pressure.

What causes peripheral arterial disease?

In most cases, peripheral arterial disease is due to atherosclerosis, or the buildup of plaques. When fat and cholesterol collect on the walls of your arteries, they prevent blood from circulating throughout your body. 

Other less common causes of peripheral arterial disease include blood vessel inflammation, injury to the limbs, and radiation exposure.

How is peripheral arterial disease diagnosed?

To diagnose peripheral arterial disease, your Texas Heart and Vein Multispecialty Group provider conducts a physical exam and listens to your heart. If they notice a weak or absent pulse or there’s evidence of poor wound healing, they order additional tests. 

Some of the tests that help diagnose peripheral arterial disease include ultrasound and abdominal aortogram. An ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to evaluate your blood flow. An abdominal aortogram provides detailed images of your abdominal aorta, which supplies oxygenated blood to your lower body.

How is peripheral arterial disease treated?

Treatment of peripheral arterial disease focuses on two things: relieving painful symptoms and stopping the progression of atherosclerosis (the buildup of plaques). The team might recommend:

  • Losing weight
  • Quitting smoking
  • Exercising regularly
  • Prescription medication
  • Routine checkups
  • Limb salvage (if you have diabetes)

If your condition worsens and you’re at risk of a heart attack or other potentially serious complications, the team might recommend surgery, like a femoropopliteal bypass (Fem-Pop Bypass). This procedure involves your provider bypassing the blocked portion of a main artery with a piece of a healthy blood vessel.

If you’re concerned about your risk of peripheral arterial disease, make an appointment at Texas Heart and Vein Multispecialty Group by calling the nearest office today or scheduling online.