From an interview with
Dr. Eva Rzucidlo
McLeod Vascular Associates
For people who have pain in their legs or trouble walking, the answer may be peripheral vascular disease (also known as peripheral arterial disease). McLeod Vascular Surgeon Dr. Eva Rzucidlo explains how this problem can be diagnosed and treated.
Here are Dr. Rzucidlo’s major points:
Peripheral vascular disease or peripheral arterial disease occurs when you get blockages in the arteries in your legs. Most of the patients we see in our office have progressed to critical limb ischemia, which is very serious and increases the risk of amputation.
In our office, we’re able to test a patient’s circulation through a simple office evaluation, by comparing the blood pressure in the arm to the leg.
There are many options for treatment of patients with vascular disease. For patients that just have pain in their legs when they walk, there are medications. Patients can also be placed in a training program to help them walk better.
For those patients that have wounds, it is very important we move quickly to prevent amputation.
In our hybrid x-ray room at McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence we perform a minimally invasive procedure through a tiny poke hole in the groin, allowing us to put a dye in the arteries. We can then look at the patient’s arteries to see where the blockages are.
Blockages are usually treated with balloons and stents. Stents are metal tubes that compress and open the cholesterol buildup in an artery to allow better blood flow to the limb, which increases the oxygen intake to the wound and allows for increased healing.
Most of these procedures can be done at as an outpatient. Patients come in the day of the procedure and go home the same day, avoiding hospitalization to help decrease their risk of amputation.