Tuesday, Dec 10, 2013
Vein Disease Plagues Patients in Southern Illinois
WSIL -- Local doctors are seeing more cases of Peripheral Arterial Disease, better known as PAD.
It affects nearly 10 million people in the United States and can sometimes be fatal.
"It's a disease that does not manifest itself easily to the patient," said cardiologist Dr. Raed Al-Dallow, "This disease has been under recognized for a long time. We believe that the incidents of disease are a little bit higher in Southern Illinois."
Smokers and people with diabetes are at the highest risk of getting PAD. The disease is caused by blocked arteries in the legs, neck or arms and can sometimes limit range of motion and use.
If untreated, PAD can lead to amputations or even death. It has a mortality rate comparable to more commonly known diseases.
"It will be up there with advanced heart failure and advanced COPD," explained Dr. Al-Dallow.
Experts say testing for PAD is simple.
"Most of the time we start non-invasively which means no IV's, no needles," said nurse practitioner Allison Campos, "If you have PAD it means there is a blockage in your artery so the blood pressure would actually be lower."
Dr. Al-Dallow has performed many PAD surgeries by placing a stint inside the artery to help blood flow. Still, many patients with clogged arteries resulting from PAD often have other serious health problems.
"The risk of having heart problems and strokes goes along with the risk of having say leg problems because of peripheral arterial disease," explained Dr. Al-Dallow.
Doctors say many people with PAD can manage the disease through lifestyle changes and medication.
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