According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 18 million people in the United States suffer from Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), a common circulatory problem in which plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to your head, organs and limbs. Over time, plaque can harden and narrow the arteries limiting blood flow to your organs and other parts of your body.
Approximately 160,000 to 180,000 of the estimated 18 million Americans with PAD will undergo a limb amputation as result of PAD-related condition this year, resulting in lower quality of life, high medical costs, and shorter life expectancy. But even with these alarming numbers, general population awareness of PAD is estimated at only 25 percent.
As a vascular specialist, Majdi Ashchi, DO, FACC, FSCAI, FABVM, FSVM has treated hundreds of PAD patients over the course of his 30-year career, so he knows the importance of recognizing PAD as soon as possible. With today’s technology, minimally invasive procedures can be performed in our outpatient cath lab to improve artery flow significantly and ultimately save limbs.
“As a doctor, telling a patient a limb cannot be saved is one of the worst pieces of news to give,” said Dr. Ashchi. “That’s why early diagnosis is so important, so these effective and life-changing procedures can be performed in time. I urge all patients to talk to your medical provider if you are experiencing pain when walking or unusual discomfort. Early diagnosis and intervention cannot only save a patient’s limb, but potentially a life as well.
During the month of September, I encourage everyone to participate in PAD Awareness month by showing support for the PAD community and helping the public better understand the risks, effects and symptoms of PAD.”
The chance of having PAD increases as you get older with people over age 50 having a higher risk for PAD, but the risk is increased if you:
- Smoke, or used to smoke
- Have diabetes
- Have high blood pressure
- Have abnormal blood cholesterol levels
- Are of African American ethnicity
- Have had heart disease, a heart attack or a stroke
- Have a family history of PAD, heart attack or stroke
To better understand who’s at risk, the warning signs and symptoms, please read our blog post https://drashchiheart.com/peripheral-arterial-disease-p-a-d/.