Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)/Limb Salvage

Joseph M Caruso, MD, FACS

Board Certified Vascular Surgeon located in Arlington, TX

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) / Limb Salvage Q & A

What is peripheral artery disease (PAD)?

PAD is a condition in which plaque builds up on the lining of your arteries, narrowing the space available for blood to circulate. The condition is also referred to as atherosclerosis or peripheral vascular disease. It’s often a sign of more extensive fatty plaque deposits throughout your cardiovascular system, which can lead to problems like a heart attack or stroke.

PAD limits the blood flow to your extremities and is most often diagnosed in your legs, although it can develop elsewhere in the body.

What are symptoms of PAD?

Leg pain, or claudication, is the most common symptom of PAD. Specifically, claudication is leg pain during exercise or while walking. In addition to leg pain, if you have PAD, you may experience other symptoms such as:

  • Numbness or pins-and-needles sensations
  • Cold feet and ankles
  • Skin discoloration or stasis dermatitis
  • Non-healing wounds
  • Weak or undetectable pulse in your legs or feet
  • Slow nail or hair growth

PAD symptoms usually develop slowly but progress if your condition is left untreated. If you notice any of these symptoms, schedule a consultation with Dr. Caruso for prompt diagnosis and treatment.

What causes PAD?

PAD is caused by the buildup of fatty deposits in your arteries — also known as atherosclerosis. Arterial plaque is usually a result of high cholesterol. While high cholesterol is often considered a warning sign for heart problems, PAD is also a serious health condition that can lead to complications including amputation.

Some of the risk factors for developing PAD include:

  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • A family history of PAD or heart disease
  • Getting older

As you get older, your blood vessels lose elasticity, which can make them weak and less able to adapt to plaque buildup.

How is PAD treated?

Dr. Caruso diagnoses PAD with a comprehensive consultation in which he asks questions about your symptoms, lifestyle, and personal and family medical history. He also examines your legs and feet, checking for temperature differences, weak pulse, and other signs of PAD. He may use diagnostic imaging studies like Doppler ultrasounds to monitor the blood flow through your calves, ankles, and feet.

If you have PAD, Dr. Caruso offers his signature procedure, RESTORE. This innovative approach uses minimally invasive techniques to clear blockages with minimal trauma to the surrounding tissue. It’s a same-day, outpatient procedure that can improve your circulation and your quality of life.  

He also provides both minimally invasive and traditional surgical procedures to open your blood vessels and improve your circulation.

Call or schedule an appointment online today for expert vascular health care.