Peripheral Vascular Studies
Orlando Health offers both non-invasive and invasive procedures for the evaluation and treatment of peripheral arterial disease (PAD). PAD includes blockages in almost any artery of the body besides the heart. Blockages can occur in the legs, which result in pain with walking (“claudication”) and in very severe cases, critical limb ischemia (pain at rest and/or non healing ulcers which may require amputation if not treated). Another important area where blockages can occur is in the carotid arteries in the neck, which carry blood to the brain. Untreated blockages in the carotid arteries can lead to a stroke. Both leg and carotid arterial blockages can be assessed in the office with duplex ultrasound -- a safe, non-invasive, painless procedure. In some cases, CT angiography (CTA), an additional non-invasive imaging procedure, can more accurately measure arterial blockages. Just as cardiac catheterization can be used to accurately define blockages in the coronary arteries, peripheral angiography can be used to take pictures of the arteries in the legs as well as the carotid arteries. In many cases, such blockages can be non-surgically cleared through a catheter using a variety of interventional procedures such as atherectomy (plaque removal), balloon angioplasty, and stenting. These procedures often provide a safe and effective alternative to surgical revascularization.