Vascular Assessment

Peripheral vascular disease is on the rise. It typically presents with small symptoms that are often missed, then becomes painful, and can eventually put your foot at risk of amputation. Our doctors are aware of this risk and want to help you catch the disease as early as possible.  Prevention is key, so early diagnosis and treatment of these disorders can help prevent future complications. At East Texas Foot Associates, our foot and ankle specialists will perform an evaluation of your baseline circulatory status by simply using our hands and eyes to get a sense of whether there is any disease. If needed we have the ability to test in greater detail by using equipment that can accurately determine the quality of your macro (large vessel) and micro (small vessel) arterial flow. These non-invasive and pain free tests allow us to guide you in creating a plan and addressing any vascular disease.

Non-invasive vascular tests that might be used:

Ankle Brachial Index: The ankle-brachial pressure index (ABPI) or ankle-brachial index (ABI) is the ratio of the blood pressure at the ankle to the blood pressure in the upper arm (brachium). Compared to the arm, lower blood pressure in the leg suggests blocked arteries due to peripheral artery disease (PAD). The ABPI is calculated by dividing the systolic blood pressure at the ankle by the systolic blood pressure in the arm.

Doppler: A Doppler ultrasound is a risk-free and pain-free procedure that requires little preparation. The test provides your doctor with important information about the flow of blood through the arteries and veins in your legs. It can also reveal blocked or reduced blood flow through narrowed areas in the arteries, which could eventually lead to severe foot complication.

Pulse Volume Recording: A PVR study is a noninvasive vascular test in which blood pressure cuffs and a hand-held ultrasound device (called a Doppler or transducer) are used to obtain information about arterial blood flow in the legs. It helps to measure how much blood is reaching your feet. The blood pressure cuffs and Doppler are used to determine the presence, severity and general location of peripheral arterial occlusive disease.

Skin Perfusion Pressure: SPP is the pressure required for restoring microcirculatory blood flow following release of a carefully controlled occlusion. This test is an excellent indicator of a patient’s vascular potential to heal a wound.

If you have noticed you have lost the hair on your feet, lower legs burn and/or cramp when walking, or you can’t sleep due to foot pain, these are signs that your arterial circulation may be getting worse. There are lifestyle changes that can be made to help with PVD as well. These include quitting smoking and taking steps to control high blood pressure and diabetes. Other steps that you can take are exercising daily and eating a healthy diet. Making lifestyle changes can decrease complications from PVD and slow down its progression. Early detection and treatment of PVD can enable you to live a healthier lifestyle. Your podiatrist can help detect signs and symptoms of PVD from routine foot exams, so make an appointment with East Texas Foot Associates today.

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