Understanding Lower Limb Arterial Diseases

(Leg bypass to prevent amputation)

If your legs pain while walking, this may be the first indicator of a leg attack, known in medical terminology as peripheral arterial disease (PAD).

Arteries in the body can slowly become narrowed and blocked as a consequence of age, smoking, high blood cholesterol or diabetes. Blockage in the heart arteries can cause heart attack. Similar blockage in the leg arteries gives rise to leg attack.

In the initial stages of blockage, patients do not have any major problems and may attribute pain on walking (claudication) to old age, weak muscles or arthritis. However, if left undiagnosed and untreated, PAD often ends with severe rest pain and ulcers or gangrene and eventual amputation of the leg.


Who is at risk of PAD?

The risk of atherosclerosis increases with the following risk factors. If you have more than two of these risk factors, regular examination with an ABI test will detect PAD in early stages.


  • Smoking
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Family History
Arterial blockage

What can happen due to PVD?

The risk of atherosclerosis increases with the following risk factors. If you have more than two of these risk factors, regular examination with an ABI test will detect PAD in early stages.

Claudication
Foot Gangrene & Ulcers
Gagnrenous Great Toe
Amputed Legs

In earlier times, patients with gangrene were advised for amputation of leg, either below or sometimes above the knee (Figure 5). But with newer advances in vascular surgery, procedures are now being performed to prevent amputation. After all, it’s not your legs, it’s your life!

How do you know if you have PAD?

After a careful questionnaire and examination, a vascular specialist will perform any of the following tests to diagnose and confirm PAD.

ABI-doppler
Color Doppler
Angiography
CT Angio

What treatment is effective in preventing amputations?

Apart from lifestyle changes and control of diabetes and hypertension, medical management is also useful in initial stages of PAD.

Minimally-invasive methods like angioplasty and stenting are shorter, less painful and result in reduced recovery time. They are now regularly used for treatment of leg arterial blockages.

Aorto-bifemoral Bypass
Leg bypass
Supra-celiac aortic bypass
Gangrene 2nd toe
Gagnrene resolved after bypass

Occasionally, surgeries like leg bypass are utilized for treatment . These procedures will not cure PAD, but they can improve the blood circulation to your legs and your ability to walk and thus prevent amputation.

No matter what your age, early diagnosis and treatment of vascular disease can improve the quality of your life.

We strongly recommend you to stay updated on the latest information and treatments in vascular care.

You never know when you need to know.

Vascular specialists provide care to patients with diseases or disorders of their blood vessels except the heart or brain. There are very few surgeons in India, trained in this specialty. -Dr. Sumit Kapadia

  • Varicose veins
  • Deep vein problems
  • Peripheral arterial disease
  • Carotid artery disease
  • Aortic aneurysm
  • Vascular malformations
  • Endovenous LASER varicose veins
  • Deep vein thrombolysis
  • Peripheral angioplasty & stenting
  • Carotid angioplasty & stenting
  • Endograft placement
  • Sclerotherapy & embolisation
  • Vascular trauma
  • Dialysis access procedures
  • Pneumatic Compression Treatment
  • Angio-embolisation of tumors & bleeding vessels