Category: Peripheral Arterial Vascular

Ankle Brachial Index

An ankle-brachial index is a simple and non-invasive test performed to diagnose peripheral vascular disease. The index compares the blood pressure of the legs and arms and creates a ratio that shows the availability of blood to flow freely from one extremity to the other. The ABI is calculated by dividing the systolic blood pressure at the ankle by the systolic blood pressure in the arm.

During this test, patients lie on their back and a technician places blood pressure cuffs on the ankles and arms. The machine then inflates the cuffs alternating to get the ratio. This test may include exercise by walking on a treadmill for several minutes in order to simulate when a patient would feel pain due to peripheral artery disease and then takes the reading afterward to understand the severity of the said disease.

Peripheral Artery Disease

 

Artery

  •  An artery is a blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to other parts of the body.
  • Arteries are thicker than veins and have more robust, more elastic walls.
  • Arteries sometimes develop plaque within their walls in a process known as atherosclerosis.
  • These plaques can become fragile and rupture, leading to complications associated with diabetes, such as heart attacks and strokes.

Peripheral arteries

  • Peripheral arteries send oxygen-rich blood to all parts of the body.
  • In PAD, plaque builds up in the artery walls.
  • Just like coronary artery disease, plaque narrows the arteries and leaves less room for blood to flow through. 
  • If your legs do not get enough oxygen and nutrients, they will feel sore or tired when you walk or climb stairs.
  • Having PAD raises your chances of a heart attack or stroke.
  • With PAD, not enough oxygen-rich blood and energy can pass through the arteries due to narrowing. 


The following symptoms may indicate the disease:

weakness in legs; numbness or cramping in legs with walking; legs may feel cold; color change, dark pink, purplish, dusky.

The symptoms may be present or absent but are due to a lack of blood flow to the muscle group, resulting in pain in the affected muscle groups. However, if the individual has diabetes or neuropathy, they may not feel the pain.

The presence of an extremity ulcer is one of the more obvious clinical signs of poor circulation. Other common symptoms: pain with walking a short distance; pain at rest when legs are elevated, but lessens when legs are dangled over the side of the bed or sofa.

Additional warning signs:

  • If you have poor circulation, it will typically begin in your legs first
  • Pain in the calf muscles when you walk (claudication) is the most common symptom
  • Poor wound healing or decline in the pulses in your feet
  • These symptoms may indicate severe blockages in the vascular system
     

Peripheral Vascular Disease

 

What is Claudication?

Claudication, also referred to as intermittent claudication, is pain caused by reduced blood flow to the lower extremities.  Claudication is a symptom of the disease called Peripheral artery or peripheral vascular disease (PAD or PVD) rather than a disease itself.

Claudication can cause:

  • Pain in calves, thighs, feet, or other parts of the lower extremities
  • Pain at rest, that gets worse with movement
  • Discolored skin
  • Weakness in leg
  • Aching or burning sensation in extremities

The Joint Commission Gold Seal Of Approval / Certification

The Joint Commission?

What is it?

The Joint Commission is an independent non-profit organization that accredits and certifies healthcare organizations in the United States. A Joint Commission accreditation and Gold Seal of approval is a symbol of Quality and Excellence that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting and exceeding performance and safety standards.

Why should you care?

Hospitals are required to be joint commission accredited in order to provide the safest and appropriate care for their patients. But Accreditation is not required for outpatient centers such as Western Vascular Institute. Western Vascular requests these audits and subjects themselves to intense scrutiny to show our patients our continued commitment to quality care & outcomes in vein and artery treatments.

Are All Vein and Vascular centers accredited?

No, in fact, Western Vascular Institute is the only Vein and Vascular group in Arizona providing in-office care, dedicated to peripheral vascular disease accredited by The Joint Commission.

We believe that quality is the result of excellent work without compromise.

What is a Vascular Ultrasound?

Vascular Ultrasound or Duplex study

 

A Vascular Ultrasound or Duplex study is a non-invasive test performed to evaluate a patient’s blood flow through the arteries and veins. The test provides Vascular Surgeons with the information they need to provide a diagnosis and set a course of treatment for each patient. All the ultrasound technicians at Western Vascular Institute are trained specifically in Vascular sonography, and the IAC Intersocietal Accreditation Commission accredits our facilities for vascular sonography.

Patients can rely on accreditation to indicate that the facility that performs their examination has proven a commitment to providing quality testing for the diagnosis of vascular disease. Patients can rest assured that accredited facilities have been carefully critiqued on all aspects of their operations considered relevant by medical experts in the field of vascular technology.

Health care organizations are held to very high levels of accountability by peers and the general public. In numerous states, reimbursement directives that require accreditation of the facility have been instituted by Medicare carriers and private, third-party insurers. Similar draft payment policies are pending throughout the United States. Facilities attaining accreditation before it is required for reimbursement demonstrate a willingness to surpass current expectations.

The general public and the vascular testing community members will recognize an unmatched commitment to providing quality health care by facilities that achieve IAC Vascular Testing accreditation.

 

What is Atherosclerosis?

Atherosclerosis – is a disease process that leads to the hardening or clogging of arteries. The build-up over time of substances such as fat, cholesterol, & calcium, collectively called plaque, narrows the artery and restricts the amount of blood able to pass through the arteries, and provides oxygen-rich blood to the body. This stenosis or narrowing of the artery can lead to serious problems such as stroke, amputation, heart attack, and death.

What is Limb Salvage?

Introduced by Western Vascular Institute over 20 years ago, limb salvage of the leg, foot, & ankle is a term used to describe the type of procedure that our wound & Vascular board-certified surgeons are able to provide to save a patients leg from amputation due to peripheral artery disease, diabetes & many other conditions.

In this procedure, our surgeons, because of their unparalleled training & skill level, are able to open arteries through endovascular catheters all the way down to the toes. This allows for blood flow to reach all the way to the tips of the toes, which helps patients improve their mobility & ability to heal wounds as well as saving or “salvaging” their limbs from amputation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introducing Dr. David J. Paolini

Dr. David J. Paolini Vascular Surgeon with Western Vascular Institute. Board Certified Vascular Surgeon

Dr. David Paolini is a Vascular Surgeon with over 15 years of Vascular Surgery experience.  Dr. Paolini recently joined Western Vascular Institute as one of our acclaimed vascular surgeons from the Jobst vascular center in Toledo, Ohio. Dr. Paolini has had a passion for medicine and physics from a young age, feeling that Vascular Surgery is the perfect combination of the two scientific areas. Dr. Paolini completed his medical school training from Temple University (One of the best Medical Schools in the united states) in 1999 and after that moved to New Mexico to begin his residency at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center Department of Surgery. After completing a 5-year surgical residency Dr. Paolini then moved to Toledo, Ohio to complete a Vascular Surgery specific fellowship at the prestigious Jobst Vascular Center. Dr. Paolini quickly gained accolades as one of the most innovative and competent vascular surgeons in the area as well as being heavily invested in Vascular Surgery research and publications. Dr. Paolini’s care philosophy is “ to take care of patients like you would want your kids’ taken care of ”. As a father of two wonderful children and supported by his beautiful wife Dr. Paolini is poised to join the ranks of the great caring vascular surgeons here at Western Vascular Institute. Dr. Paolini’s previous patients have described dr. Paolini as being kind, compassionate, & honest. We are excited to have Dr. Paolini as part Western Vascular Institute. Dr. Paolini is now accepting new patients in the Mesa and Payson office locations. For an appointment with Dr. Paolini please contact one of our new patient coordinators at (480) 668-5000 ext. 332

 

Diabetes and Vascular Disease

Diabetes Mellitus is a disease that changes the bodies ability to absorb a specific type of surgar (Glucose).

Diabetes causes high levels of this sugar in the blood which can cause long term side effects to the vascular system.

When the blood stream has too high a level of sugar the inner lining of the arteries can be damaged.

Peripheral Artery Disease Awareness month

September is Peripheral vascular disease awareness month.  PVD or PAD / Peripheral Arterial Disease is a chronic disease where plaque gradually builds up in the arteries leading to limited blood flow or entirely block the flow of blood also called an occlusion.

This Plaque that builds up in your arteries and veins is a waxy fatty substance caused by high levels of cholesterol and worsened by smoking. The plaque builds up on the arterial or vessel wall as it passes through the vessels along with the blood and can lead to the hardening or atherosclerosis of the arteries and eventual occlusion. Peripheral arterial disease is a very common disease affecting 1 in 20 Americans over the age of 50.

 

 

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