Community Hospital

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

Saving Lives and Limbs - Advances in the Treatment of PAD

Community Hospital is known nationally as a leading center of cardiovascular research exploring new options in the treatment of PAD. If you have leg pain or cramping; slow or non-healing wounds on the legs, feet or toes you may be one of the eight to 12 million Americans with Peripheral Arterial Disease or PAD.

This condition is caused by a narrowing of blood flow to the arms and legs, and, if left untreated, can result in chronic pain, ulcers, gangrene and even amputation of the feet and legs. PAD can significantly increase your risk for heart attack and stroke. If you have one or more of the risk factors for PAD - cigarette smoking, diabetes, obesity, physical inactivity and/or high cholesterol - and have concerns about pain in your lower legs, be assured that you can turn to Community Hospital for the latest advances in the treatment of this potentially devastating condition.

Diagnosing PAD

Monthly PAD screenings are available through the Phase 3 Cardiac Rehabilitation Department of Community Hospital for a small fee. For more information and to schedule your appointment, call Phase 3 Cardiac Rehabilitation at Lake Business Center in Munster at (219) 934-2830.

A simple, 15-minute non-invasive screening called an Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) can detect PAD and involves blood pressure readings in the arms and legs to check for blockages in circulation. The blood pressures are measured using regular blood pressure cuffs and a hand-held Doppler device (similar to ultrasound).

If further testing is required after an abnormal screening result, an Arterial Doppler test may be scheduled by your physician that uses sound waves to check for any obstruction to blood flow. It also checks the speed of the blood flow in the leg.

If the Arterial Doppler indicates that the blood flow in a patient's leg is obstructed, the physician may order an angiogram. During an angiogram, a substance that can be seen under an X-ray is injected into the leg and pictures are taken to define the exact location of the obstruction as well as the surrounding circulation.