Ask a Doctor: What is peripheral artery disease?

Ask a Doctor: What is peripheral artery disease?

March 21st, 2017 by Staff Report in Life Entertainment
Dr. Chris LeSar,

Dr. Chris LeSar,

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Q: What is peripheral artery disease?

A: Peripheral artery disease is a process in which plaque — fatty de¬≠posits — builds up in the arteries carrying blood to the body. In most cases, PAD affects arteries in a person's legs. However, it can also affect the arteries carrying blood to your heart, brain, arms, kidneys and stomach.

Anyone who has diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and/or a smoking addiction, particularly at an advanced age, is at risk for the disease. Signs and symptoms of PAD in the legs include painful walking, weakness with walking and/or a sore or wound that does not heal after one week.

For many patients, the symptoms of PAD sneak up on them slowly. It's not normal health to have pain or weak­ness with walking that forces you to sit down or fall. If at any time your skin turns black, it could mean gangrene, so treat it as an emergency.

— Dr. Chris LeSar, Vascular Institute of Chattanooga; member, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Societ

Submit your health-related questions for a medical doctor to ldenton@timesfreepress.com.


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