This interview was done for PAD Awareness Month in 2020. Take a look at all of the resources that we have put together for PAD Awareness Month 2021!
September is PAD Awareness Month. Many people do not know what that means. It is a good time to find out what that means. Jan D’Atri from KPNX in Phoenix, Arizona – 12 News (KPNX-TV, NBC) visits Modern Vascular of North Mesa, Arizona to learn more about PAD and help spread awareness with a Dr. Scott Brannan, the Chief of Endovascular Surgery at Modern Vascular and the managing physician at Modern Vascular of North Mesa, Arizona. He explains that PAD stands for peripheral artery disease, which is the name of the arteries that are on the outside of the heart. Most patients, even those that have PAD, have never even heard of it.
The effects of PAD are frequently silent in their early stages. The consequences of PAD can be catastrophic for some patients that get it. PAD awareness month is very important for people to understand that peripheral artery disease is a potentially catastrophic disease that is often represented in the early stages.
Peripheral artery disease may affect the carotid arteries that supply blood to the brain, the renal arteries that supply blood to kidneys, or, most commonly, it affects the arteries of the lower extremities. These are the arteries in the pelvis, above the knee, below the knee, and even below the ankle. The at-risk groups are older patients, particularly those that are older than 65, patients that are diabetic, anyone with an inflammatory disease, patients that smoke, and patients that have high blood pressure. Patients that need to be aware of PAD are those that develop symptoms of cramping either at night or while walking, especially while walking up or downstairs.
Patients will sometimes present with the breakdown of the skin already present because the arteries are responsible for supplying oxygenated blood to the tissues, which can lead to skin breakdown and ulceration. Patients that are showing ulceration are only a few steps away from amputation. If PAD goes untreated, it could potentially result in amputation.
The reason why we are promoting peripheral artery disease awareness month is so that patients can notice the symptoms early and get the help that they need so that they can avoid amputation. When someone comes into Modern Vascular, we get a thorough history and take some basic testing of the velocity and elasticity of the arteries. Hopefully, it gets caught early enough that it can be treated with lifestyle modifications and not require any procedure. If it has got to the point where an artery is closed or severely narrowed, a minimally invasive procedure is performed through a pin-sized puncture in the foot or groin.
September is PAD Awareness Month
More Americans have peripheral artery disease than all types of cancer combined. Patients that have both peripheral artery disease and diabetes are at a significantly higher risk of having their leg amputated. Peripheral artery disease happens when the arteries supplying blood to the lower extremities are blocked because of a buildup of plaque on the artery wall. Patients that have PAD report pain when walking, foot sores, and discoloration of the skin on the foot, among other things.
We encourage people to share their knowledge of peripheral artery disease with others to increase awareness in this prevalent disease that can go undetected. You could be the person the convinced someone to go to see a doctor about the issues that they are having with their legs and feet. Please use the following resources to learn more and spread awareness: