The interventional radiologists at Suburban Imaging specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care of peripheral vascular disease (PVD).
PVD, also called peripheral arterial disease (PAD), affects 10 million men and women over age 50 in the U.S. PVD commonly results from atherosclerosis (ath-er-o-scle-ro-sis), a condition where arteries become narrowed or clogged, interfering with normal blood flow. Cholesterol and scar tissue build up, forming a substance called "plaque" that narrows or blocks the blood vessels.
Atherosclerosis (plaque build up) can occur in any blood vessel throughout the body, including the legs, kidneys, heart, neck and brain. When vascular disease affects the legs, the medical term is peripheral vascular disease because legs are located at the periphery (or end/edge) of the body.
You may be at risk for PVD if you have any of the following factors:
Symptoms of vascular disease can interfere with your daily activities and also cause serious health concerns such as heart attack and stroke.
Other symptoms include:
PVD is generally diagnosed with an imaging exam. The most common test is an ABI (ankle-brachial index) ultrasound, which can be performed at Suburban Imaging.
During an ABI test, an ultrasound imaging technologist takes blood pressure readings from both arms and both ankles by using a blood pressure cuff and a special ultrasound stethoscope called a Doppler. The reading from the ankle is compared to the reading from the arm to determine how well blood is flowing.
In some cases, lifestyle changes are enough to slow the progression of vascular disease. This includes:
In other cases, your healthcare provider may prescribe medication when lifestyle changes are not enough.
When lifestyle changes and medication are not enough, there are a number of ways that blocked blood vessels can be opened to restore normal blood flow. Your healthcare provider can give you a referral to meet with one of the Suburban Imaging interventional radiologists.
Treatments from an interventional radiologist are generally easier for patients than surgery:
no surgical incision
are less painful
shorter hospital stay – in most cases, patients are released on the same day of their procedure
By using modern interventional radiology techniques, medical procedures such as angiography, angioplasty and stenting can be performed without surgery. These minimally-invasive procedures will be performed by one of the interventional radiologists at the hospital.