Peripheral Artery Disease in the Midlands

A study shows that the Midlands has one of the highest rates of peripheral vascular disease in the nation. With PAD, narrowed blood vessels limit blood flow to the limbs. In this WIS-TV Health U story, a Columbia man shares how PAD impacted his life and work, and how his doctor – Terry Norton, MD, FACS, at Southern Surgical Group, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice – made him better.

PAD typically involves a narrowing of the peripheral arteries in the legs, stomach, arms and head. In this case, “peripheral” means away from the heart. It most commonly affects arteries in the legs.

Both PAD and coronary artery disease (CAD) are caused by atherosclerosis – which means plaque has built up in your artery walls. Atherosclerosis narrows and blocks arteries in critical regions of the body.

The most common symptoms of PAD involving the lower extremities are cramping, pain or tiredness in the leg or hip muscles while walking or climbing stairs. Typically, this pain goes away with rest and returns when you walk again. Left untreated, PAD can lead to amputation.

Risk factors include age, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking and diabetes. Some cases of PAD can be managed with lifestyle changes and medication.

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