Preparing for Your Visit
Your doctor may look for signs that are common for PAD, including weak or absent artery pulses in the extremities, specific sounds that can be heard over the arteries with a stethoscope, changes in blood pressure in the limbs at rest and/or during exercise and skin and nail color changes caused by a lack of blood supply. In addition your doctor may use imaging tests to diagnose PAD.
The Doppler/Duplex ultrasound
This test detects and measures blood flow and blood pressure behind the knees and at the ankles. Patients with PAD in the legs have a lower blood pressure in the ankles than in the arms. This ankle pressure is called Ankle Brachial Index or ABI. If your Doppler/Duplex ultrasound shows a decrease in pressure in your ABI, your doctor might order a CT scan (also called a CAT scan) - this is a more complex
This exam uses a computer or scanner to help identify where your blockages are in the blood vessels in your legs. A scan called Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) may also be performed to identify where blockages are in your body.
Types of vascular surgery offered include:
- Clot dissolving or “thrombolytic” therapy
- Endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm
- Vascular surgery