Peripheral Artery Disease
Peripheral Artery Disease, or PAD, is a condition in which the arteries that carry blood to the legs become narrowed or clogged due to accumulation of atherosclerotic plaque. The disease limits blood flow to the tissues of the legs, which can cause pain with exertion. Also referred to as Peripheral Vascular Disease, PAD can occur in anyone; however, it is more common in men and women over the age of 50. Risk factors include smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Most patients with PAD can be treated through minimally invasive endovascular methods.
Angioplasty is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat vascular blockage(s) or narrowing and improve blood flow. Under X-ray guidance, interventional radiologists thread a catheter, or tiny wire, through a blood vessel to make necessary repairs.
The physician may choose to inflate a balloon within the artery, shave away the material (atherectomy) causing the blockage or narrowing, or place a stent (metal device) in the artery to hold it open.
A newer technology is drug-coated balloon angioplasty, which is useful in preventing a blockage from returning.