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Why are people with Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) at higher risk for Gangrene?

Peripheral Artery Disease Treatment In Hyderabad

What is Gangrene and how is it caused?

Gangrene can occur in any part of the body when the supply of oxygen-rich blood to that part is cut off. The affected area will then typically start to appear “decayed” and as it progresses, the skin will turn dry, shrink, and eventually turn black.

Gangrene commonly occurs on the toes or feet as these are the farthest from the heart.

Any condition that can affect your blood vessels can increase your risk of developing Gangrene. Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) is one such condition and if left untreated, can cause an affected limb to develop non-healing wounds and eventually become gangrenous.

What is PAD and why is it a risk for Gangrene foot?

Poor blood circulation can affect the arteries, veins, and lymphatic vessels causing the blood vessels to narrow and become blocked. Such circulation disorders are termed as Peripheral vascular disease (PVD).

Normally, the smooth lining in healthy arteries helps proper blood flow and prevents clotting of blood.  Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) develops only in the arteries and is a disease caused by ‘atherosclerosis.’ When plaque, which is made of excessive fat, cholesterol and other substances floating through the bloodstream gradually builds up in the arterial walls, the arteries get narrower, stiffer and fail to widen. Blood does not flow sufficiently to nourish the organs and tissues, and this leads to PAD. The plaque buildup occurs gradually and therefore PAD is a progressive disease.

Smokers and patients with diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia are significantly at more risk of developing PAD.

In patients with PAD, as circulation is affected, gangrene is known to develop and can potentially turn fatal without proper treatment. Hence, these patients should examine their feet daily for warning signs of gangrene such as cuts, sores, swelling, redness, skin breaks or discharge.

PAD and other complications

PAD caused by atherosclerosis can lead to major complications which include:

  • Stroke and heart attack- PAD is associated with increased blood pressure variability increasing the risk for stroke and heart attack.
  • Critical limb ischemia- A serious form of PAD characterized by a severe blockage in the arteries of the lower extremities. Complications include unhealing sores, wounds, and ulcers in the legs and feet, and gangrene, which, if not treated, may lead to amputation of the affected part.

Know the risk factors for PAD

The most common risk factors of PAD are smoking, diabetes, and increasing age (especially over 65). Other factors that may increase the risk are:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes mellitus- Various studies show that Diabetes increases the risk of developing symptomatic and asymptomatic PAD by around four-fold.
  • High levels of homocysteine in the blood, which is a type of amino acids, is associated with narrowing or blocking of arteries (atherosclerosis) thereby increasing the risk of coronary artery disease.

It is significant to know that patients with PAD may be symptomatic with claudication or critical limb ischemia or may be completely asymptomatic.

At Avis vascular center a team of vascular specialists, and endovascular surgeons work together to provide the exact treatment you will need for PAD and associated complications.

To learn more about the effective treatment options at Avis Vascular Center, call and book your appointment.

Peripheral Artery Disease Treatment In Hyderabad

For Appointments Call: 9989527715

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