Dr. Mike Hagley, chief of staff of Hutchinson Regional Medical Center and cardiologist, gave a speech to the Great Bend Rotary Club on Monday about peripheral artery disease, also known as PAD, and different types of procedures to deal with this illness.
Hagley is known nationally for his work in treating peripheral arterial disease and what is called limb salvage. Essentially, what this means is that many heart patients have leg arteries that are plugged with plaque.
Hagley, uses the latest Food and Drug Administration-approved procedures to dissolve the plaque which saves the patient’s limbs, makes for a healthier heart and may save their life too.
“The benefit about knowing about PAD is people should be on aspirin and medicines that help dissolve the plaque,” Hagley Said. “People need to be systematic for treatment.”
Four common predictors of PAD are: Diabetes, smoking, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
The procedures used for treating PAD are inserting stents into the body to open up arteries to allow blood flow.
These stents are inserted into the body through the main arteries, one being in the groin area and one in the wrist.
According to the American Heart Association, a stent is a tiny wire mesh tube. It props open an artery and is left there permanently.
When a coronary artery, the artery that feeds the heart muscle, is narrowed by a buildup of fatty deposits called plaque, it can reduce blood flow. If blood flow is reduced to the heart muscle, chest pain can result.
If a clot forms and completely blocks the blood flow to part of the heart muscle, a heart attack results. Stents help keep coronary arteries open and reduce the chance of a heart attack.
According to the Mayo Clinic, PAD is a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to your limbs. When you develop PAD, your extremities — usually your legs — don’t receive enough blood flow to keep up with demand. This causes symptoms, most notably leg pain when walking.
PAD is also likely to be a sign of a more widespread accumulation of fatty deposits in your arteries. This condition may be reducing blood flow to your heart and brain, as well as your legs.
Often, one can successfully treat peripheral artery disease by quitting tobacco, exercising and eating a healthy diet.
Symptoms of PAD
• Painful cramping in one’s hip, thigh or calf muscles after activity, such as walking or climbing stairs.
• Leg numbness or weakness.
• Coldness in your lower leg or foot, especially when compared with the other side.
• Sores on your toes, feet or legs that won’t heal.
• A change in the color of your legs.
• Hair loss or slower hair growth on your feet and legs.
• Slower growth of your toenails.
• Shiny skin on your legs.
• No pulse or a weak pulse in your legs or feet.
• Erectile dysfunction in men.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, one in every 20 Americans over the age of 50 has PAD.