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Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

Peripheral Arterial Disease Treatments at Richmond Vascular Center
Condition Treated

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) is a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to your limbs. PAD most
commonly affects the legs and can cause symptoms such as leg pain when walking. Narrowing of the arteries is caused by an accumulation of plaque or fatty deposits (artherosclerosis). This same condition can also affect arteries of the heart and brain.


Some people have no symptoms of PAD, while others often have leg pain while walking. Additional symptoms may include:

  • Painful cramping in your hip, thigh, or calf muscles after certain activities that is resolved within a short period of time after stopping activity
  • Severe cases may include leg pain even while at rest
  • Leg numbness or weakness
  • Coldness in your lower leg or foot
  • Sores on your toes, feet or legs that won’t heal
  • A change in color in your legs
  • Shiny skin on your legs

Risk Factors

Family and social history play a big role in determining if you might be suffering from PAD. Some of the risk factors include:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • A family history of PAD, heart disease, or stroke


  • We’ll start with a physical examination, asking you questions about the various symptoms you are experiencing. A strong indicator of PAD is your ankle-brachial index (ABI), which we obtain via a simple, painless exam. By comparing blood pressure in your arms to that of your legs, we can determine the likelihood of PAD.
  • If the first exam indicates PAD, further tests may be recommended to include a minimally-invasive test done in our outpatient center. See “Procedure Description” below for more information.

Procedure Description: Angiography

The physician starts by numbing a small area at the groin and making a small nick in the skin. Using a catheter, the physician injects a dye into your blood vessels which allows them to view the blood flow through your arteries as this happens. If a problem area is found, the physician can then treat the narrowed artery by widening it with a dilating procedure to include ballooning (angioplasty), removing the plague/blocking (atherectomy), or stenting.


  • Ability to resume normal activities without pain
  • Wound improvement and prevention
  • Diagnosis and treatment for PAD can be done in the outpatient setting
  • No overnight stays in the hospital
  • Cost-effective compared to having the procedure done in the hospital


Will my insurance cover both the diagnostic tests and angiograms
performed in the outpatient center?

Yes. Our staff works to make sure that all referrals and pre-
authorizations are in place for your consult and procedure prior to
your first visit.

How can I prevent PAD or the progression of PAD after treatment?

Many people can manage their symptoms of PAD and stop the progression of the disease through lifestyle changes:

  • Quit Smoking if you are a smoker
  • If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar under good control
  • Exercise regularly – aim for 30 minutes several times a week
  • Lower your cholesterol and blood pressure levels
  • Eat foods that are low in saturated fats
  • Maintain a healthy weight

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