Peripheral Arterial Disease Specialist

Vascular Associates of San Diego

Vein Specialists & Vascular Specialists located in San Diego County, La Mesa, CA

More than 200 million men and women have peripheral artery disease worldwide. This disease affects the arteries in your legs, preventing you from getting the oxygenated blood needed for healthy circulation and normal function. Fortunately, Vascular Associates of San Diego, the team of premier vascular specialists in La Mesa, California, serving all of San Diego County, offers cutting-edge peripheral artery disease solutions such as angioplasty, stenting, and atherectomy. Get the help you need from true vascular experts by calling the office or using online scheduling now.

Peripheral Arterial Disease Q & A

What is peripheral artery disease?

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a serious vascular condition in which plaque —  a mixture of cholesterol, fat, and other substances from your blood — clings to the walls of the peripheral arteries that deliver blood to your limbs. 

The plaque buildup, called atherosclerosis, can eventually harden. This restricts blood flow and deprives your limbs, especially your legs, of the oxygenated blood. 

Just like with coronary artery disease, which affects the arteries supplying your heart with blood, PAD increases your risk of stroke and heart attack significantly.

What are the symptoms of peripheral artery disease?

Symptoms of PAD may include:

  • Leg cramping
  • Intermittent claudication: Leg pain or cramping during walking
  • Leg numbness
  • Cold-feeling legs and feet
  • Slow nail and hair growth on legs
  • Slow-healing wounds on legs and feet

If you don't recognize the symptoms of PAD and seek appropriate care, your disease could progress to cause ulcers, tissue death, and amputation, along with life-threatening complications like stroke and heart attack.

How is peripheral vascular disease diagnosed?

The Vascular Associates of San Diego team can perform on-site tests like diagnostic angiography, in which your doctor injects a contrast dye through a catheter inside your artery, to diagnose PAD. This allows for optimal visualization and documentation of PAD. 

How is peripheral artery disease treated?

There are a variety of approaches for PAD treatment. The Vascular Associates of San Diego team tailors your treatment according to the stage of your disease and your symptoms. You may benefit from: 

Habit changes

Habit changes can include altering your diet to reduce cholesterol levels, regular exercise, and smoking cessation, along with other healthy lifestyle changes. 

Medication

In some cases, prescription medication to reduce your blood pressure and cholesterol levels can help with PAD. Some medications can also prevent blood clots from forming. 

Angioplasty

Angioplasty is a procedure in which your doctor uses a balloon catheter to open a narrowed section of your artery. The Vascular Associates of San Diego surgeons usually use specialized drug-treated balloons during angioplasty to minimize the risk of future artery narrowing.

Atherectomy

In an atherectomy, your surgeon guides a catheter to the blocked or narrowed area within an artery. The catheter tip contains tiny circulating blades to thin out or remove the plaque. Usually, this procedure precedes angioplasty or stenting.

Stenting

Depending on how severe the blockage is, your surgeon may also place a stent — a mesh metal scaffold that holds your artery open — after your angioplasty or atherectomy. Your surgeon can coat the stent with a medication that minimizes risk of future narrowing.

Your treatment may include several options, with the ultimate goal being healthy legs and body long-term.

Contact Vascular Associates of San Diego online or by phone to set up your appointment now.