Newport Beach, CA

Dr. David Nabi, MD, FACS

Peripheral Arterial Disease in the Diabetic Patient: Tips to Prevent Limb Loss

When you have a disease like diabetes, regular health screenings with a vascular surgeon specializing in Peripheral Arterial Disease, like Dr. David Nabi, are vital. Partnering with a PAD specialist can mean make a world of difference in preventing the loss of limbs. According to the American Heart Association, "People with PAD are at extremely high risk of coronary artery disease, heart attack, or stroke. If left untreated, PAD can lead to gangrene and amputation.”

People with diabetes need to be mindful of the genuine dangers of developing PAD and its devastating consequences. One of the hidden vulnerabilities that many diabetic patients encounter is that they can have no warning symptoms. An asymptomatic person can unknowingly develop PAD.

If a diabetic patient is not aware that they have PAD, it can cause so much blood flow restriction that it can result in critical limb ischemia. Critical limb ischemia is an extreme consequence of PAD. The first root word, "isch/o,” means to hold back. The second root word, "-emia,” refers to a blood condition. It comes from the Greek word "iskhaimos,” which translates to "stopping blood.” Unlike claudication, critical limb ischemia means the leg doesn’t have enough blood flow even at rest. 

As a person with diabetes, you can develop ulcers or non-healing sores due to multiple factors, such as neuropathy or nerve damage resulting in skin damage, increased susceptibility to infections, and a specific variety of PAD that affects the legs and feet. If this has developed, the blood flow to the sores or ulcers may narrow so drastically due to plaque buildup that it can result in tissue death or gangrene. The amputation of affected parts is the only remedy for gangrene.

The good news is there are simple and pain-free screenings that Dr. Nabi uses to determine the health of your limbs and vascular system. If PAD is detected, rest assured that Dr. Nabi has extensive experience in non-invasive procedures that may eliminate plaque buildup and restore blood flow to your peripheral arteries.

Restoring arterial limb circulation is a necessary treatment to avoid the loss of limbs and amputations. However, the best treatment is prevention! The importance of early detection and ongoing monitoring by a skilled vascular surgeon who specializes in PAD, like Dr. David Nabi, cannot be overstated.

Take the next step in your diabetic care by scheduling a PAD assessment with Dr. David Nabi. We only get one life, so protect it today!

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