StAMP Education and FAQs
How is Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) related to amputation?
- A recent study found that 71% of patients who had an amputation didn’t have any diagnostic testing done prior to the amputation.
- One out of every 200 people in the U.S. has had an amputation due to Critical Limb Ischemia (CLI).
- Diabetes is a strong predictor of PAD and is associated with increased amputation risk.
- More than 60% of lower limb amputations occur in people with diabetes.
- Eighty-six percent of adults are unaware that PAD can lead to amputation.
What are symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease?
- Leg pain/cramping at rest or with exercise
- Loss of pulses in feet
- Loss of hair growth on legs and feet
- Cold feet
- Discolored skin on feet and/or legs
- Wounds (cuts or scratches) that do not heal.
Arteries & Veins: What’s the difference?
Arteries are vessels that carry oxygenated blood through your body. Veins carry blood back to the heart once the oxygen has been released to the body. Both types of vessels can become diseased and affect your overall health. The symptoms for artery disease and venous diseases are much alike.
- A test called an Ankle Brachial Index (ABI) is done to check for arterial disease. An ABI does not check for venous disease.
- Your doctor can check for venous disease using a simple exam that views the veins in your legs.
If you had a normal ABI test, you may still have problems in the veins of your legs. If you have any questions, discuss your symptoms with your primary care physician.
At Metro Heart & Vascular, we treat both venous and arterial disease and would like to help you with your circulation problems. If you think you may have either venous or arterial disease, you can set up an appointment in our office. Depending on your insurance, you may need a referral from your primary care physician. If you have any questions, talk to your insurance provider, or call our office at (616) 252-5950.
What is an Angiogram?
An angiogram is a diagnostic procedure in which a needle is used to help introduce a small tube (catheter) into the artery (usually the femoral artery). The puncture site is very small, but because of the location you’ll have to lay flat for a couple of hours.
Dye or contrast is injected through the catheter and viewed under a flouroscopy (X-ray) machine. This lets us see if there are any blockages and helps your physician determine how best to treat you.
What is an ABI test?
The Ankle Brachial Index (ABI) test can be a good way to help diagnose PAD. This quick and painless test compares blood pressure in the lower legs and feet to blood pressure in the arms and can help detect a problem with blood flow.
How is PAD treated?
- Endovascular Interventions
- Treats the disease from inside the artery
- Bypass Surgery
- Long incision
- Uses a graft to bypass the blockage
- Medical Management
- Walking programs
- Cholesterol medications
- Amputation should be considered only as the very last resort and never without a diagnostic and angiogram
Economics of amputation
- Amputations are more expensive than the other treatment plans for PAD.
- The long-term consequences of amputation are far more devastating to a patient’s overall health and well-being
- Endovascular Interventions