New York Physician Marina Gafanovich Encourages PAD Testing…
…to Assess Patients for Risk of Heart Attack or Stroke
There are many people with peripheral artery disease but have mild or no symptoms. Some individuals may complain of calf pain while walking. Others may notice a change in color or coldness in the lower leg. In some cases when the disease is severe, the pain may occur at night and be associated with non-healing ulcers. Men may also complain of erectile difficulties.
Once peripheral artery disease starts, it usually progresses. It can be a serious disorder, which, if ignored,could lead to amputation of the toes or even the leg. The major problem with peripheral arterial disease is that because of blockages in the blood vessels, blood is unable to get to the lower part of the leg or the foot.
Risk factors for peripheral arterial disease include a history of diabetes and or smoking. Today, healthcare providers usually order some type of screening test to assess peripheral arterial disease. Besides a physical exam and blood test to measure cholesterol and blood sugar, other non-invasive tests are frequently done.
The two tests often done to assess for peripheral arterial disease include 1) ankle brachial index (ABI) and 2) ultrasound. The ABI is done by measuring blood pressure in the arm and leg and comparing the ratio. If the ABI is less than 0.9, this is indicative of a blockage somewhere in the blood vessel. To determine where the blockage is ultrasound Doppler testing is done. The ultrasound device can assess the rate of blood flow and site of obstruction. In some cases, the readings are done before and after exercise to determine severity of the disease. If the disease is mild, then the individual can be followed with repeat testing every year. If the disease in the arteries is severe, then referral is made to a vascular surgeon for further testing to determine how to improve the blood flow in the leg or foot.
Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) testing is a non-invasive test performed by NYC doctor, Dr. Gafanovich, to assess patients for risk of heart attack, stroke, or transient ischemic attacks (aka. Mini strokes). Dr. Gafanovich will ask the patient family history questions prior to any PAD assessment, as well as, various risk factors such as smoking, diet, OTC medications, etc.
The doctor checks pulse rates and blood pressure in your various extremities and makes comparisons that will allow her to assess those areas of your body that may show signs of lack of blood flow. At times she will use her stethoscope to listen for abnormal sounds.
The tests are non-invasive and painless, so patients with needle phobias needn’t worry.
New York Internist, Dr. Gafanovich uses the test results to diagnose the presence of PAD, as well as, whether or not the degree of PAD merits a referral to a specialist.
Milder cases of PAD can be treated in our office. Call (212) 249-6218 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Marina Gafanovich, MD in her conveniently located Upper East Side office.