September is PAD Awareness Month

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is the biggest disease you’ve never heard of. For PAD Awareness Month, we are working to raise awareness of the potentially life-threatening disease that affects up to a staggering 18 million Americans.1 That’s greater than the number of Americans suffering from:

    • Cancer (15.1 million)53
    • Stroke (7.2 million)54
    • Coronary artery disease (16.3 million)55

Despite the severity of PAD, only 25% of Americans are familiar with the disease.7 People with the disease may think their leg pain and trouble walking are just signs of getting older. That’s why Take a Stand Against Amputation urges people to learn more about PAD – its risk factors, symptoms and treatment options.

Read more about PAD’s risk factors at the right or take the Symptom Quiz below for more information. If you’re concerned that you may have PAD, talk with a health care professional.

If you receive a diagnosis of PAD, there are several treatment options to discuss. Lifestyle adjustments, such as quitting smoking, eating healthier and taking medication – can be effective for many people. In severe cases, minimally invasive vascular surgery or bypass surgery may be necessary to restore blood flow and prevent an amputation.

Common risk factors for PAD are:

Increasing age
Diabetes mellitus
Kidney disease

If you have any of these risk factors and have experienced symptoms of PAD, learn more on this website and talk to a health care professional about your condition.

Find a Doctor – If you’re looking for a second opinion, we recommend that you talk to a PAD specialist. Click the button to find a PAD specialist near you.

What you should know:

  • Left untreated, PAD can lead to amputation.

  • PAD causes arteries in the legs to become narrow and hardened, limiting blood flow to the legs and feet.

  • People with the worst form of PAD, known as critical limb ischemia or CLI are at risk for an amputation.

Avoid Amputation

Take a Stand: Diagnosing PAD early is very important. Talk to your doctor or consult a PAD specialist to discuss your options. Not all physicians are PAD specialists. Don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion.

Talk to Your Doctor

Do you have pain in your leg that won’t go away or a wound that won’t heal? Were you recently diagnosed with peripheral artery disease (PAD)? Has a doctor told you that you might need an amputation? Left untreated, PAD can lead to amputation. The good news: There are many treatment options for PAD. They could improve your quality of life, reduce pain, improve walking ability, reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, and save legs, feet or toes from amputation.

If you’re concerned about your condition and ready to take control of your health, don’t wait. Talk to a health care professional. Don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion with a doctor who has experience treating patients with PAD.

Take the Symptom Quiz

Click below to take the interactive Symptom Quiz. You can print your answers out and take them with you to a doctor to help guide your conversation about PAD.

Dr. Bryan T. Fisher Tri-Star Centennial Medical Center, Nashville, TN