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Understanding Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
Friday, January 31, 2014 - 12 Noon (Eastern Time)

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Natalie Evans, MD

  • Vascular Medicine Specialist
  • Robert and Suzanne Tomsich Department of Cardiovascular Medicine

Lee Kirksey, MD

  • Vascular Surgeon
  • Miller Family Heart and Vascular Institute

Peripheral artery disease (PAD), also known as peripheral vascular disease, affects between 8 and 12 million Americans. It is estimated that 1 in 20 Americans over the age of 50 are suffering from this condition. PAD is a disorder that occurs in the arteries of the circulatory system. Like the blood vessels of the heart (coronary arteries), your peripheral arteries (blood vessels outside your heart) also may develop atherosclerosis -- the build-up of fat and cholesterol deposits, called plaque -- on the inside walls. Over time, the arteries may become narrowed from plaque development and cause decreased blood to flow to the body’s tissues, restricting circulation to the limbs and organs. Without adequate blood flow, the kidneys, legs, arms and feet suffer damage. If left untreated, the tissue can die leading to gangrene which can become infected requiring emergency surgery.

Some individuals with peripheral artery disease can treat the condition by lifestyle modifications and medications. However, more advanced PAD needs to be treated with interventional medical procedures or even surgery such as angioplasty, angioplasty with stent placement, or atherectomy. In some cases, surgical procedures such as peripheral artery bypass surgery may be performed to reroute blood flow around the blood vessel blockage. Take this opportunity to learn more about peripheral artery disease, including diagnoses and the latest treatment options, and have your questions answered by vascular medicine specialist, Dr. Natalie Evans and vascular surgeon, Dr. Lee Kirksey.

Natalie Evans, MD is a specialist in the Department of Vascular Medicine in the Robert and Suzanne Tomsich Department of Cardiovascular Medicine. Her area of expertise includes general vascular medicine, peripheral artery disease (PAD), post-thrombotic syndrome and deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

Lee Kirksey, MD is a vascular surgeon in the Sydell and Arnold Miller Heart and Vascular Institute. His specialty interests include cerebrovascular disease, aortic disease, peripheral artery disease, minimally invasive treatment of vascular disease, limb salvage/amputation prevention using hybrid revascularization techniques and advance wound care strategies.

This Health Chat will open on Thursday, January 30, 2014 to allow you to submit questions. We will try to answer as many questions as possible during the chat. Please create an account to attend the chat and submit your questions.