By the time you feel symptoms like pain in your leg when you walk, peripheral artery disease has already significantly blocked blood flow through an artery. At Nelson Menezes Vascular Specialist PC, you receive personal care from Dr. Menezes, who has extensive experience performing minimally invasive procedures to restore normal blood flow. If you develop leg pain, schedule an appointment online or call one of his New York City offices in Brooklyn Heights or Fort Greene, Brooklyn.
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) occurs when blood flow is blocked due to narrowed arteries. PAD most often affects your legs, but it can also develop in arteries delivering blood to your arms, kidneys, and stomach.
PAD is caused by the buildup of plaque on the artery wall, a condition called atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis begins when cholesterol and other fats attach to an artery’s wall. Over time, the fats accumulate and harden, creating plaque that narrows the artery.
The first symptom of PAD is typically intermittent claudication, or leg pain when you walk. The pain goes away when you rest, then returns once you start walking again.
You may also develop symptoms such as:
Most patients won’t develop symptoms until the artery has narrowed by 60% or more.
Treatment often begins with dietary changes and structured exercise, which can slow down the progression of atherosclerosis. Dr. Menezes may prescribe medications that thin your blood, relax the arteries, or prevent blood clots. You may also need medications to treat underlying health conditions that contribute to atherosclerosis, such as high blood pressure.
When your arteries are severely blocked or your symptoms don’t improve with conservative treatment, Dr. Menezes may recommend one of several minimally invasive endovascular treatments:
After making a small incision, Dr. Menezes guides a catheter through your blood vessels to the blockage. Then he inflates a balloon that pushes the plaque back against the artery wall and implants a stent to keep the blood vessel open after the balloon is removed.
If the plaque is too hard for balloon angioplasty, Dr. Menezes may perform a minimally invasive atherectomy. During this procedure, he uses a catheter equipped with a blade or a power jet to cut out the plaque.
Instead of cutting out the plaque, the blocked artery is opened by destroying the plaque with a laser.
In the most severe cases of PAD, Dr. Menezes may perform a surgery called bypass grafting. This procedure bypasses the blockage by using a man-made tube or a blood vessel that is removed from another part of your body.
When minimally invasive surgery is needed, your procedure is done in the office at Dr. Menezes’ accredited, state-of-the-art surgical suite.
To get comprehensive treatment for PAD, call Nelson Menezes Vascular Specialist PC or schedule an appointment online.