Bellin offers free peripheral arterial disease screenings

09/04/2007

GREEN BAY — Peripheral arterial disease, or PAD as it is commonly known, affects between 8 million and 12 million people in the United States. That’s why Bellin Health is offering free vascular screenings for this circulation disease.

PAD increasingly affects people as they age, particularly those with diabetes and those who have smoked. PAD hinders circulation to the body’s vital arteries resulting in insufficient blood flow to the legs and feet. It is commonly associated with high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. High cholesterol can also be a risk factor for PAD.

“In PAD cases, the lining of the arteries typically experience plaque build up,” said Kelly Galler, clinical nurse specialist at Bellin. “The build up causes the arteries to eventually narrow and become blocked. This results in poor blood circulation, particularly in the legs and feet.”

Symptoms of PAD include leg cramping, fatigue, numbness or pain while walking, and cool skin on the legs and feet. The pain generally ends once an individual stops walking, although PAD may also cause burning and aching in the feet and toes while a person is at rest or asleep.

Bellin’s free vascular assessments include non-invasive examinations of neck, abdominal, leg and foot arteries. Blood pressure readings are taken and evaluations for leg edema or swelling, varicose veins, hair loss, wounds and signs of decreased circulation are performed. The assessments are ongoing and require an appointment.

“We are pleased to be able to perform this health service for members of our community,” said Stewart Gifford, M.D., of General & Vascular Surgery of Green Bay. “Unusual pain in your legs isn’t always a symptom of getting older. It can be a sign of PAD. Be on the safe side and take advantage of our free vascular assessments.”

For more information on the free vascular assessments, or to schedule an appointment, call Bellin TeleHealth at (920) 445-7363.