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PAD, Something to Avoid

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Having an iPad is a cool thing. Having PAD isn’t so cool. PAD is peripheral arterial disease that shouldn’t be treated lightly but instead with urgency.

Smoke? Over 50? History of diabetes? High blood pressure or cholesterol? Mark your calendar for a PAD screening at Ukiah Valley Medical Center on March 6 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. You could have PAD and not even know it!

Andreas Sakopoulos, MD, a cardiothoracic-vascular surgeon, has agreed to provide a free seminar with “question and answer” time along with a free screening for the local community.

Dr. Sakopoulos will perform a simple noninvasive test called an ankle-brachial index (ABI). Painless and easy, the test compares the blood pressure readings in your ankles with the blood pressure readings in your arms. “The fact that nearly 75 percent of people with PAD don’t experience symptoms is not something that should be taken lightly”, said Dr Sakopoulos.

PAD occurs when extra cholesterol and other fats circulating in the blood collects in the walls of the arteries that supplies blood to the limbs – hands, feet, fingers, and toes.

Those with symptoms may experience claudication, which translates to mean fatigue, heaviness, tiredness, cramping in the leg muscles, buttocks, thigh, or calf. Sometimes there is pain in the legs or feet that can disturb sleep.

Other symptoms include sores or wounds on toes, feet, or legs that are slow healing. Color changes on the skin of the feet, or one leg having a different temperature than the other leg is also cause for concern.

Dr. Sakopoulos indicated that still another symptom could be poor nail growth and decreased hair growth on toes and legs. “Having PAD also puts an individual at a high risk for heart disease and stroke,” Dr Sakopoulos adds. “One in three persons over the age of 50 with diabetes is likely to have PAD,” shared Dr. Sakopoulos. Mendocino County, known as the county with the highest rate of diabetes in California, is a prime target for residents to have high incidents of PAD.

UVMC has recently added an Advanced Wound Center to the campus which treats patients with forms of peripheral arterial disease and slow healing wounds. The wound center uses a concentrated oxygenation method for stimulating cell growth.

“The addition of the Advanced Wound Center along with diagnostic procedures and specialists such as Dr. Sakopoulos round out a comprehensive limb preservation program for our community,” commented Gwen Matthews, UVMC’s CEO.

The free seminar and PAD screening will be held on March 6 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Glenn Miller Conference Room at UVMC. For more information, directions, and to register call (707)-463-7328.