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PAD Specialist

Northwest Houston Heart Center

Cardiology located in Tomball, Cypress, Magnolia, & The Woodlands, TX

In the early stages of peripheral artery disease (PAD), you won’t have any signs the disease is building. By the time you develop symptoms, you have significantly blocked blood. At Northwest Houston Heart Center, experienced cardiologists A. Adnan Aslam, MD, FACC, FSCAI, and Roy Norman, DO, offer preventive risk assessments and screenings, ongoing management of PAD, and advanced procedures to clear the blockage and restore healthy blood vessels. To learn if you’re at risk or to get exceptional care for PAD, call the office in Tomball, Cypress, Magnolia, or The Woodlands, Texas, or schedule an appointment online today.

PAD Q & A

What is PAD?

Peripheral artery disease or PAD is a vascular condition caused by atherosclerosis, the build-up of cholesterol plaque in the artery wall. Without treatment, the plaque keeps enlarging and narrowing the artery. As a result, there is an increase in blocked blood flow.

What symptoms develop if I have PAD?

PAD can affect any peripheral artery carrying blood through your body, but it most often develops in your legs. When the blood flow is significantly blocked, you experience:

  • Leg pain when walking that improves with rest
  • Leg fatigue or weakness
  • One foot colder than the other
  • Poor hair growth on one leg
  • Shiny skin on one leg
  • Non-healing sores on the lower leg

Without treatment, the disease progresses and blocks so much blood that the tissues in your leg don’t get enough oxygen. The loss of oxygen leads to non-healing ulcers and, in severe cases, gangrene.

How is PAD diagnosed?

Northwest Houston Heart Center initially diagnoses PAD using the ankle-brachial index (ABI) test. During your ABI test, they measure the blood pressure in your ankles and arms and compare the two to come up with an ABI score. The score is a good indicator of the presence and severity of PAD.

Your provider may also do a vascular ultrasound to locate the blockage and measure the flow of blood. In some cases, you may need additional testing, such as computed tomography angiography, magnetic resonance angiography, or catheter-based angiography.

How is PAD treated?

Your treatment for PAD includes one or more of the following:

Lifestyle changes

Your diet, activity level, weight, and smoking have a major impact on PAD. Making healthy lifestyle changes improves the health of your arteries and prevents PAD from getting worse.

Prescription medications

You may need to take medications to slow the build-up of cholesterol and prevent PAD complications like blood clots. Your provider may also prescribe medications to treat hypertension and high cholesterol, as these conditions contribute to PAD.

Minimally invasive surgery

When your symptoms become severe or PAD reaches a moderate to advanced stage, your provider eliminates the blockage and restores circulation with minimally invasive surgery.

Your provider performs procedures such as balloon angioplasty, stenting, and atherectomy inside the artery using a catheter with specialized instruments. If you need bypass surgery, they make an incision, remove the blockage, and replace it with a graft.

If you have pain when you walk and feel fine when you rest, call Northwest Houston Heart Center or schedule an appointment online right away.