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Peripheral Arterial Disease Specialist

I-Vascular Center

Anwar S. Gerges, MD

Vascular Center & Vein Specialist located in El Paso, TX & San Antonio, TX

One of every 20 Americans over the age of 50 has peripheral artery disease (PAD). When left untreated, PAD increases your risk of serious health problems, including heart attack or stroke. At i-Vascular Center, with two convenient locations in El Paso and San Antonio, Texas, vein and vascular surgeon Anwar S. Gerges, MD, and the team specialize in diagnosing and treating peripheral artery disease. To schedule an appointment, book a consultation online, or call the nearest office today.

Peripheral Arterial Disease Q & A

What is peripheral artery disease?

Peripheral artery disease is a circulatory problem that causes the arteries in your arms and legs to narrow. Over time, this prevents blood flow to your extremities, increasing your risk of more serious health problems.

Peripheral artery disease is a serious health problem, but with early intervention, it’s possible to treat. Oftentimes, healthy lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, exercising regularly, and eating a balanced diet are enough to ease symptoms and improve your quality of life.

What are the symptoms of peripheral artery disease?

Peripheral artery disease affects everyone differently. Early on, some people experience no symptoms at all. As the condition gets worse, common signs include:

  • Painful cramping in the thighs, hips, or calves
  • Leg weakness or numbness
  • Hair loss on the feet and legs
  • Slow-growing toenails
  • Shiny skin on the legs
  • Slow-healing wounds or ulcers on your legs and feet

Men with peripheral artery disease often experience erectile dysfunction.

Who is at risk of peripheral artery disease?

Peripheral artery disease affects people of all genders and races, but several factors may increase your risk. For example, peripheral artery disease tends to affect people who are smokers or overweight. You’re also at an increased risk if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes.

How is peripheral artery disease diagnosed?

To diagnose peripheral artery disease, Dr. Gerges conducts a physical exam and reviews your health history. If he detects a weak pulse or notices you have slow-healing wounds, he might order additional testing, including ankle-brachial index (ABI) or doppler ultrasound.

ABI measures the difference between the blood pressure in your lower body to the blood pressure in your upper body. To get the most accurate reading possible, Dr. Gerges might have you walk on a treadmill before taking any readings.

Doppler ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to evaluate blood flow through your vessels. It’s a quick and efficient way to detect blocked or narrowed arteries.

How is peripheral artery disease treated?

At i-Vascular Center, treatment for peripheral artery disease focuses on easing uncomfortable symptoms and preventing the progression of atherosclerosis (the build-up of fats). 

If you have mild symptoms, Dr. Gerges might recommend healthy lifestyle changes like losing weight, exercising regularly, and managing your stress levels. If these measures don’t improve your symptoms, you might benefit from:

  • Cholesterol-lowering medications
  • High blood pressure medications
  • Medications to prevent blood clots
  • Medications to manage blood sugar
  • Pain relievers to address leg cramps or aching

In serious cases of peripheral artery disease, surgical intervention may be necessary. Dr. Gerges might recommend:

  • Angioplasty (with or without stenting)
  • Bypass surgery
  • Thrombolytic therapy
  • Laser atherectomy

If you’re concerned about your risk of peripheral artery disease, schedule an appointment at i-Vascular Center. Book a consultation online, or call the nearest office today.