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Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

With lower extremity peripheral arterial disease (PAD, also called peripheral vascular disease or PVD), there is a build-up of fatty "plaque" in the arteries of your abdomen, legs, or feet that reduces the flow of oxygen-rich blood through these vessels. PAD is most often caused by diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and smoking. It's important for you to be treated for PAD early to prevent the need for amputation. At NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital, we understand this risk and work hard to avoid it by treating you quickly and effectively.

Care for Related Health Problems

Because many people with PAD often have atherosclerosis in other parts of the body, such as the heart or the blood vessels to the brain, we'll determine if you have other cardiovascular problems that need to be treated. As part of a major medical center, we can put together a team of specialists that includes all the doctors you need for your care. Vascular surgeons, wound care specialists, endocrinologists, and cardiologists are all available to you to meet your needs.

Specialized Care to Avoid Amputation

First, we'll try to treat your PAD with medication and lifestyle changes (such as recommending exercise and quitting smoking). If those therapies are not enough, we'll offer minimally invasive endovascular procedures to relieve the narrowing in your blood vessels and improve the supply of blood to your affected limbs. And if you need traditional surgery, our vascular surgeons have exceptional expertise to provide that care, too. Your care may include:

  • Balloon angioplasty. During angioplasty, we insert a deflated balloon-tipped catheter through an artery in your groin and guide it to the narrowed segment of your artery. When the catheter reaches the blockage, we inflate the balloon — compressing the plaque, widening your artery, and restoring blood flow.
  • Stenting. We may place a stent, a small metal scaffold, to "bridge" the site of the blockage during angioplasty. The stent is initially collapsed when we insert it into your body. Once the stent reaches the blockage, we expand it to conform to the wall of your artery, restoring blood flow. We leave the stent in place permanently to stay open and provide a reinforced channel through which blood can flow to your leg.
  • Atherectomy. We use a specially equipped catheter to remove plaque from the lining of your narrowed artery. We advance the atherectomy device through your artery to the site of your blockage, where we activate the device to shave off and remove plaque.
  • Conventional vascular surgery. If we cannot treat your PAD effectively using a minimally invasive approach, we'll offer you traditional vascular surgery. Examples include peripheral artery bypass surgery (rerouting blood flow as a detour around the blockage) or endarterectomy (surgically removing the plaque).