Cardiovascular Health Expert: Causes for Amputation

Cardiovascular Health Clinic
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The most common cause of amputation is Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD).

Peripheral artery disease (PAD), also known as peripheral arterial disease or peripheral vascular disease (PVD), is a very common condition affecting 20% of Americans 65 and older. PAD develops most commonly as a result of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, which occurs when cholesterol and scar tissue build up, forming a substance called plaque inside the arteries. This is a very serious condition. The clogged arteries cause decreased blood flow to the legs, which can cause pain when walking, and can eventually lead to gangrene and amputation.

Severe peripheral artery disease can lead to foot sores or wounds on feet that are not healing, which raises the risk for permanent tissue damage and leg amputation or foot amputation. PAD is also considered a risk factor for heart attack and stroke.

What Are Symptoms of PAD

The most common symptom of PAD is called intermittent claudication, which is painful cramping in the leg or hip that occurs when walking or exercising and typically disappears when the person stops the activity. Other symptoms include: numbness, tingling and weakness in the lower legs and feet, burning or aching pain in feet or toes when resting, sore on leg or foot that won’t heal, cold legs or feet, color changes in skin of legs or feet, hair loss on legs, pain in the legs or feet that wakes you up at night.

  • Loss of hair on legs
  • Aching in feet or toes when resting
  • Sores on legs or feet that won’t heal
  • Color change in skin of legs or feet
  • Cold legs or feet
  • Aching in feet or toes when resting
  • Leg or hip pain that stops when you cease activity

Risk Factors

The main risk factor for Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is smoking or a history of smoking. Patients can slow the progress of PAD if they quit smoking now.

Some diseases and medical conditions, such as Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Heart Disease, and Stroke, may raise your risk.

People of older age are at a higher risk of developing Peripheral Artery Disease because plaque builds up in the arteries over time.

How Is Peripheral Artery Disease Diagnosed?

In order to diagnose PVD, the physician will begin by taking a complete medical history and physical exam. Several tests may be used to diagnose PVD. They are:

  • Measuring the pulses in your legs and feet
  • Doppler ultrasound
  • Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI)
  • Pulse Volume Recording (PVR)
  • Angiography

Cardiovascular Health Clinic is on the cutting edge of treating PAD. The facility is able to offer all possible diagnostic test at the time of your appointment. This allows patients to complete an entire workup at a single visit and providing less cost to the patient compared to having testing performed at a hospital.

How Is Peripheral Artery Disease Treated?

The facility at Cardiovascular Health Clinic uses state-of-the-art procedures to treat Peripheral Artery Disease. The staff carefully evaluates each patient to formulate an individualized treatment plan. The treatment goals are to: 1) Manage symptoms, such as leg pain, so that patients can resume physical activities to improve mobility and overall quality of life, and 2) Stop the progression throughout the body to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke and prevent complications. Treatment is based on the patient’s signs and symptoms, risk factors, and the results of physical exams and tests.

Below are some options for treatment:

Angioplasty – use of a balloon catheter to open up a stenotic area (or area of narrowing) in a blood vessel.

Thrombectomy – process in which thrombus (or clot) is mechanically removed from the body using specialized equipment.

Athrectomy – mechanical removal of atheroma or atherosclerosis from the inside of the vessels in the body, using specialized catheters and equipment.

Stenting – small metal scaffolds that can be placed in order to maximize the inner diameter of vessels and help to keep it open.

How Are Advanced Interventional Radiology Solutions and Cardiovascular Health Clinic Different?

At Cardiovascular Health Clinic, the medical staff has pioneered a new endovascular approach in treating peripheral vascular disease. Their doctors are able to access the small arteries in your ankle to perform their treatments. This allows them to have some of the highest national success rates. Physicians from all over the country visit the OKC facility in order to learn this cutting edge technique.

Cardiovascular Health Clinic is truly dedicated to limb salvage and preventing amputations. The clinic is the only endovascular specialist that routinely and successfully treats the small arteries below your knee and within your feet.

Cost Of Having An Amputation

  • ½ of patients who undergo major amputation die within 1 year.
  • ½ of those that survive never go on to walk again.
  • 80% of patients who undergo major amputation fail to see a vascular specialist such as Cardiovascular Health Clinic.

The content of this article is sponsored by The CardioVascular Health Clinic

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