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“ About 80% of the patients whose legs or extremities I have to amputate are current smokers. If they are not current smokers, then they almost certainly used to smoke. If patients presenting with P.A.D have never smoked, I have cause to doubt whether they have the disease at all”.
– Mr. Daryll Baker, Consultant Vascular Surgeon Royal Free Hospital.
On Sept. 24, Khalid Shafiq M.D. was invited by Paris Regional Medical Center to deliver a talk on P.A. D or Peripheral Arterial Disease at the Lewis Hall, Paris Regional Medical Center.
One in every 20 Americans over the age of 50 has Peripheral Arterial Disease. (P.A.D.). It is a common disorder, but because P.A.D. is not life threatening it has not yet received the same degree of attention or research that coronary heart disease has. In all, P.A.D. affects eight to 12 million people in the United States.
At the talk, Shafiq presented cases, which he has successfully performed on patients with P.A.D., at Paris Regional Medical Center. He offered treatment options to patients with P.A.D. At the end of the talk, patients were encouraged to ask questions on the subject.
The intention of the talk was to create awareness amongst patients for their timely detection and treatment of P.A.D. in order to improve their quality of life and to help them keep their independence and mobility. The talk centered towards educating patients on how to reduce their risk of heart attack, stroke, leg amputation and even death resulting from Peripheral Arterial Disease (P.A.D.).
What is Peripheral Arterial Disease?
Peripheral Arterial Disease, also known as P.A.D., occurs when extra cholesterol and other fats circulating in the blood collect in the walls of the arteries that supply blood to your limbs. This buildup, called plaque, narrows your arteries often reducing or blocking the flow of blood. P.A.D. is most commonly seen in the legs, but it can also be present in the arteries that carry blood from your heart to your head, arms, kidneys and stomach.
Nearly everyone who has P.A.D. suffers from an inability to walk as fast as they could before P.A.D.
Causes of P.A.D.:
Those who smoke or have a history of smoking have up to four times greater risk of P.A.D and those who suffer from coronary heart disease also have a one in three chance of also having P.A.D. Moreover, one in every three people with diabetes is likely to have P.A.D.
Symptoms of P.A.D.:
Most people with P.A.D. do not experience symptoms; however, if they are present, the typical signs of P.A.D include:
If you believe you are at risk for P.A.D., discuss your concern with your health care provider. Your health care provider will review your medical history, your status as a current or former smoker, your personal and family history of cardiovascular disease, any symptoms you may be having in your legs and feet and your current diet and medications.
When checking you for P.A.D., your health care provider may perform a simple non-invasive test called an ankle-brachial index (ABI). The ABI readings compare the blood pressure readings in your ankles with the blood pressure readings in your arms.
This painless and easy test can determine whether you have P.A.D. or not. After receiving confirmation through this test for presence of P.A.D., your health care provider may refer you to a specialist for further testing and treatment.
Non-surgical treatment options of P.A.D include: Atherectomy such as (Turbo Hawk Atherectomy and Jet Stream Atherectomy), Angioplasty and Stent Placement in arteries of the legs.
Moreover, the upcoming new generations of drug eluting stents and balloons offer further hope for long-term successful results in patients with P.A.D.
Dr. Shafiq at Paris Regional Medical Center offers these non -surgical options to Patients with Peripheral Arterial Disease. (P.A.D.).
The main battle, however, in the treatment of P.A.D. will always lie in taking care of oneself and making positive life style changes towards careful management of diabetes, complete cessation of smoking, lowering cholesterol numbers and hypertension.
Contributed by Ayesha Shafiq