Walking in Strides

A leading-edge procedure helps patients with PAD walk pain free.

The pain in Virginia Young’s legs seemed almost constant when she walked or even sat in a chair.
The St. Lucie County resident says the short distance to her mailbox would have her nearly in tears every day. She dreaded trips to the grocery store because she could never finish her shopping before the pain would set in.Stock photo from istockphoto.com.
“My legs would ache really badly,” Ms. Young describes. “I would start out okay, then the pain would settle in, and I would get to a point where I had to sit down. And sometimes, they even hurt when I was sitting. I often got no relief whatsoever unless I was lying down. It was really affecting my quality of life. I was afraid to go anywhere that required me to walk long distances.”
The situation escalated for several years until Ms. Young sought help from her family doctor.
“I went to my doctor. He took x-rays and an ultrasound, and said I needed to see a vein specialist right away. He referred me to Vascular Interventional and Vein Associates.”

Peripheral Arterial Disease

Pranay T. Ramdev, MD, is a board-certified vascular surgeon at Vascular Interventional & Vein Associates (VIVA). He diagnosed Ms. Young with peripheral arterial disease (PAD).
Peripheral arterial disease is a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to the limbs. Risk factors include smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, among others.
“This condition is not characterized by cramping at night when you are lying down,”
Dr. Ramdev explains. “PAD symptoms only occur with activity, like walking. And the pain usually develops in the calves or thighs. Many times, this occurs in older patients and is caused by a lack of circulation.”
In patients with PAD, the legs don’t receive enough blood flow to keep up with the demand, and this causes claudication, which was the case with Ms. Young.
“When claudication starts, people usually develop discomfort in their calves when walking caused by blockages in the arteries,” educates Dr. Ramdev. “We test for claudication by checking for a pulse in the foot. When we can’t feel a pulse there, we know the ‘plumbing’ is blocked up. We use ultrasound to identify the exact areas of blockage in the circulation.
“Twenty years ago, a condition like this would require a surgical bypass procedure. Today, we can treat the problem without major surgery.”

“I’m thrilled to be pain free now!” – Ms. Young

Dr. Ramdev recommended an outpatient, nonsurgical procedure for
Ms. Young that involves placing stents in the iliac arteries – the arteries that run down both sides of the aortic valve. The iliac arteries provide blood flow to each leg. The stents are placed to open up those arteries and allow blood to flow properly.
“I admit that I was really afraid of the procedure at first,” Ms. Young says. “But, Dr. Ramdev is very reassuring, and he explains everything in detail. His staff is really great at his surgery center, too. They make you as comfortable as possible.”
Dr. Ramdev says he was pleased to have been able to perform Ms. Young’s procedure in his newly built, in-office vascular interventional suite. The suite is designed to provide patients with a comfortable, relaxed surgical atmosphere combined with the latest medical advancements.
“Instead of sending patients to a hospital for procedures that require extended stays to recover, I chose to build a suite here in my office where I can perform minimally invasive, outpatient procedures,” shares Dr. Ramdev. “Patients love it because it is small, comfortable and relaxed. No one likes having to go to a hospital for surgery.
“Our surgical suite is much more convenient for the patient, who is then able to go home and begin their recovery that same day.”

Stock photo from istockphoto.com.

Peripheral Artery Disease

No More Leg Pain

Dr. Ramdev says getting to know his patients and understanding their needs is important to the success of his practice.
“In addition to providing patients with the latest technological advancements in arterial procedures, it is just as important to me that I connect with them,” assures Dr. Ramdev. “I treat all my patients like family because kindness and compassion are so important. You can have technical success with a procedure, but the patient’s experience is enhanced by the excellent care they receive.”
Dr. Ramdev goes out of his way to spend quality time with his patients, ensuring they have a thorough understanding of the disease process and the treatment options.
“I want people to feel they have full knowledge of what is going on inside their bodies,” Dr. Ramdev educates. “The more they know, the less daunting the process seems.”
Ms. Young says that, looking back, the procedure was much easier than she had anticipated. She credits Dr. Ramdev for her newfound, pain-free lifestyle.
“I can walk much farther distances now without being in pain,” she confirms. “I work as a secretary at the Elks Lodge, and I can walk around in the office all day now and not be in pain, like I was before.
“Dr. Ramdev is professional and thorough and a very skilled doctor. He knows what he is talking about and makes you feel very comfortable and relaxed. I am very pleased I was referred to him. I would send others to him as well.
“I’m thrilled to be pain free now!”

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