Q: What is arterial disease?
A: Arterial disease involves blockages in vessels that deliver blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Most of the time there is a buildup of material called “plaque,” which can be a mixture of fatty deposits, fibrous tissue and calcification. It results in areas of narrowing or complete blockages of the arteries. This can occur anywhere in the body, and commonly occurs in the legs, where it is called Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD). When the blockage is severe enough, it limits the amount of oxygen and nutrients that reach the legs. This causes pain that typically worsens with activities. If untreated, it can ultimately lead to ulcers, gangrene or amputation.
Q: Does insurance cover arterial treatments?
A: Most health insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid, cover treatment of arterial disease. During your first appointment and consultation, we will discuss your coverage and payment options if you do not have insurance.
Q: How quickly are my symptoms improved or resolved after treatment for arterial disease?
A: Most patients say their pain improves immediately after their procedure. But sometimes new pain develops related to the intervention and may take a few days to resolve. It is important to watch for the return of normal pain…and always call us if you have concerns.
Q: Are treatments for arterial disease painful?
A: Most patients who undergo an angiogram are given moderate sedation through an IV. This helps eliminate anxiety and pain. After the procedure, a patient’s leg(s) might feel achy and/or become swollen for a few days. This is typically relieved with non-narcotic pain medicines, such as Tylenol. After a procedure we recommend minimizing activity including: stair climbing, walking, flexing at the hip and straining your abdominal muscles.
Q: How quickly can I return to normal daily activities after arterial disease treatments?
A: The greatest risk after an angiogram is developing a hematoma (bruise) at the incision site. Immediately after a procedure, the incision site is fragile. Any disruption can cause bleeding. After a procedure we recommend minimizing activity, including stair climbing, walking, flexing at the hip and straining your abdominal muscles. Do not submerse your incision for at least three days. You may shower after 24 hours.