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Why Is Screening for Peripheral Artery Disease Important?

Wednesday, 25 August 2021 00:00

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition in which blood flow to the lower limbs is inadequate, usually as a result of the arteries narrowing or hardening because of plaque buildup. In its early stages, PAD is often asymptomatic. As it progresses, patients may notice muscle aches and cramps in the lower limbs, difficulty walking, burning or tingling pain, skin discoloration, coolness, or hair loss, and poorly healing wounds developing on the feet or ankles. Left undetected and untreated, PAD can progressively worsen and increase one’s risk of having a cardiovascular event such as a heart attack or stroke. Screening for PAD can be done by your podiatrist to detect and treat PAD early. Vascular testing by your podiatrist is generally safe, painless, and non-invasive. Most podiatrists use the Ankle-Brachial Index test which involves measuring the blood pressure at your arms and ankles and comparing the two numbers, and Doppler ultrasounds to screen for PAD. To learn more and schedule a screening, speak with a podiatrist near you.

Vascular testing plays an important part in diagnosing disease like peripheral artery disease. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, or diabetes, consult with Frank Henry, DPM from Victoria and Marble Falls, TX. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Vascular Testing?

Vascular testing checks for how well blood circulation is in the veins and arteries. This is most often done to determine and treat a patient for peripheral artery disease (PAD), stroke, and aneurysms. Podiatrists utilize vascular testing when a patient has symptoms of PAD or if they believe they might. If a patient has diabetes, a podiatrist may determine a vascular test to be prudent to check for poor blood circulation.

How Is it Conducted?

Most forms of vascular testing are non-invasive. Podiatrists will first conduct a visual inspection for any wounds, discoloration, and any abnormal signs prior to a vascular test.

 The most common tests include:

  • Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) examination
  • Doppler examination
  • Pedal pulses

These tests are safe, painless, and easy to do. Once finished, the podiatrist can then provide a diagnosis and the best course for treatment.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Victoria and Marble Falls, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

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