Most types of peripheral vascular disease develop gradually over the years, slowly damaging your blood vessels without ever causing a warning sign or symptom until you have an advanced problem. At Endovascular and Interventional Associates, Mobolaji Odelowo, MD, helps many patients prevent serious health problems by performing risk assessments and screenings that catch the disease at an earlier stage. Call the office in Conroe, Texas, or schedule an appointment online to learn more about your risk for peripheral vascular disease today.
Peripheral vascular disease generally refers to conditions affecting the arteries and veins outside your heart and brain. The most common problems include:
In many cases, however, peripheral vascular disease is used to mean the same thing as peripheral artery disease.
Peripheral artery disease begins when cholesterol builds up in the wall of an artery. This condition, called atherosclerosis, keeps getting worse as additional fat and calcium accumulate. As the plaque enlarges, it prevents blood from flowing through the artery.
Peripheral artery disease most often affects your legs. Once the blockage becomes severe enough to cause symptoms, you may experience:
At first, your leg pain may occur only when you’re active, then feels better when you rest, a symptom called claudication. As the disease progresses, you can end up with leg pain all the time.
When advanced disease significantly blocks blood flow, you have a condition called critical limb ischemia. At this stage, tissues can’t survive, and you start to develop ulcers, infections, and in severe cases, gangrene.
If your peripheral artery disease is caught at an early stage, changing your diet, losing weight, and taking medications can slow down the disease or stop it from getting worse. For example, you may need medications to lower your cholesterol or blood pressure or keep your blood sugar well controlled.
Once the disease reaches an advanced stage, Dr. Odelowo restores normal circulation by eliminating the blockage. He may recommend one of the following minimally invasive procedures:
When performing an angioplasty, Dr. Odelowo inserts a catheter into the vein, guides it to the blockage, and inflates a balloon. The balloon pushes the plaque against the artery wall, opening the blood vessel and restoring normal circulation.
Stenting refers to implanting a wire mesh into the artery during angioplasty. The stent stays in place and holds the blood vessel open.
When the plaque is too hard for a balloon, Dr. Odelowo does an atherectomy. During this procedure, he uses a device that cuts out or grinds away the plaque.
If you have any signs of peripheral vascular disease, call Endovascular and Interventional Associates, or book an appointment online today.