Peripheral Artery Disease

If you have diabetes, you may also have a circulatory problem called peripheral artery disease. Our vascular specialists provide a full spectrum of expert care for people with peripheral artery disease. From healthy lifestyle changes and advanced wound care to catheterization and traditional surgical bypass, we tailor a treatment plan that’s right for you. 

What is Peripheral Artery Disease? 

Peripheral artery disease occurs when narrowed arteries reduce the blood flow to your limbs, especially your legs. It is a common sign of atherosclerosis (narrowing or hardening of the arteries) in other parts of the body. That can mean that you’re at a higher risk for heart disease, heart attack and stroke

Symptoms and Risk Factors of Peripheral Artery Disease 

The first symptom that most people notice is muscle pain. Depending on where the artery blockage is, the pain may affect different muscles:

  • Calf (most common) 
  • Thigh 
  • Buttock and hip 
  • Foot (less common) 

Other signs and symptoms of peripheral artery disease include: 

  • Numbness, achiness, or heaviness in your leg muscles when walking or climbing stairs 
  • Weak or absent pulses in your legs or feet 
  • Sores or wounds on your toes, feet or legs that heal poorly or not at all 
  • Skin on your legs that is shiny, pale or bluish 
  • A lower temperature in one leg than the other leg 
  • Poor toenail growth and decreased hair growth on your legs 
  • Erectile dysfunction, especially among men who have diabetes 

Diagnosing Peripheral Artery Disease 

At Wake Forest Baptist, we have a full range of diagnostic tools and techniques for determining whether you have peripheral artery disease. Your physician may recommend any of the following tests: 

Learn more about heart and vascular diagnosis at Wake Forest.

Treating Peripheral Artery Disease at Wake Forest Baptist 

Surgery for peripheral artery disease restores blood flow to your limbs, a process called revascularization. We offer several surgical treatment options, including: 

Managing Peripheral Artery Disease at Wake Forest Baptist 

If your doctor does not believe surgery is necessary to minimize your risk for heart attack or stroke, he or she may recommend one or more of the following:

  • Medications that lower cholesterol or prevent blood clots 
  • Diabetes management 
  • Lifestyle change, such as quitting smoking 
  • Exercise programs 
  • Regular follow-up care to monitor your condition 

Contact Us 

Request an appointment online. Or, for more information, please call: 

  • 336-716-WAKE or 
  • 888-716-WAKE (toll-free)

 

Quick Reference

Heart & Vascular Center
New Patients

Local 336-716-WAKE
Toll-free 888-716-WAKE

Returning Patients

Vascular 336-716-4151
Heart 336-716-6674

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Last Updated: 07-02-2014
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.