Tuesday, 09 November 2021 00:00

Understanding and Diagnosing Vascular Disease

Vascular diseases affect the circulatory system and can involve blood disorders or abnormalities in the arteries, veins, or lymph vessels. Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is a type of vascular disease which causes a narrowing or blockage in the arteries that prevents their capacity to carry oxygen-rich blood away from the heart to the legs and feet. PAD can cause leg pain when walking (claudication), numbness, tingling, coldness, or an inability for wounds to heal in the legs or feet. Left untreated, PAD may also be a precursor to life-threatening issues such as a heart attack or stroke. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms in your legs or feet, schedule an appointment with a podiatrist who can help diagnose and treat PAD. They will perform a physical examination and may even suggest that tests be performed to help assess the presence and severity of vascular disease, such as a Computed Tomography Angiography (CTA) and Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA). CTA uses a type of X-ray scan, while MRA uses radio wave technology. Both tests produce 3D imaging and typically involve inserting a contrasting material (dye) in the blood vessels which makes them easier to visualize.

Vascular testing plays an important part in diagnosing disease like peripheral artery disease. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, or diabetes, consult with Dr. Derek T. Pantiel from Summit Podiatry. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Vascular Testing?

Vascular testing checks for how well blood circulation is in the veins and arteries. This is most often done to determine and treat a patient for peripheral artery disease (PAD), stroke, and aneurysms. Podiatrists utilize vascular testing when a patient has symptoms of PAD or if they believe they might. If a patient has diabetes, a podiatrist may determine a vascular test to be prudent to check for poor blood circulation.

How Is it Conducted?

Most forms of vascular testing are non-invasive. Podiatrists will first conduct a visual inspection for any wounds, discoloration, and any abnormal signs prior to a vascular test.

 The most common tests include:

  • Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) examination
  • Doppler examination
  • Pedal pulses

These tests are safe, painless, and easy to do. Once finished, the podiatrist can then provide a diagnosis and the best course for treatment.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Wilmington, Whiteville, and Burgaw, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

Read more about Vascular Testing in Podiatry

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