Peripheral Arterial Disease Treatment In Denver, CO

Peripheral artery disease most often affects blood vessels in your legs, as arteries become blocked by a buildup of cholesterol. Because of our experience, patients drive from the Lakewood, Aurora, or Centennial area to receive Peripheral artery disease treatment with our interventional radiologists. Please call today at (303) 805-7477 to schedule your consultation at MIPS Center for expert diagnosis and a treatment plan based on your symptoms and lifestyle. If you are suffering from symptoms of PAD, contact Minimally Invasive Procedure Specialists today.


Vein with PAD.

What is Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)?

Arteries are high-pressure vessels that transport blood from the heart out to all tissues of the body.  The aorta is the largest artery of the body, much like the trunk of a tree.  The peripheral arteries are the branches.  With arterial disease, the vessels may become narrowed or abnormally enlarged.

Common Symptoms of PAD

According to Mayo Clinic number of people with peripheral artery disease exhibit minimal or no symptoms. Some people get leg pain while they walk (claudication). Muscle aches or cramps in the arms or legs that start during exertion and stop with rest are indications of claudication.

The calf is where the pain is most frequently felt. From little to severe pain is experienced. It could be difficult to walk or engage in other physical activities if you have severe leg discomfort. Other signs of peripheral artery disease could be:

  • Coldness in the lower leg or foot, especially when compared with the other side
  • Leg numbness or weakness
  • No pulse or a weak pulse in the legs or feet
  • Painful cramping in one or both of the hips, thighs or calf muscles after
  • certain activities, such as walking or climbing stairs
  • Shiny skin on the legs
  • Slower growth of the toenails
  • Sores on the toes, feet or legs that won’t heal
  • Pain when using the arms, such as aching and cramping when knitting, writing or doing other manual tasks
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Hair loss or slower hair growth on the legs


There are four common presentations of peripheral artery disease. They are differentiated by the time course of the artery narrowing (slower is better), the body’s ability to grow or repurpose other vessels (more is better), and the clinical presentation of the patient.  Both of these factors are affected by other medical problems and lifestyle choices, so each patient will have an individual care plan.

Acute Limb Ischemia

It is caused by an abrupt blockage of the arteries of the limb.  Causes of this are often not found but maybe from an upstream clot breaking off and floating downstream like a stick in a river.  It may also be caused by blood clots forming in the blood vessels themselves.  Typical symptoms are pain, a foot that is paler and/or colder than the opposite foot, numbness, or even inability to move the foot.  The underlying reason is that the blood flow has been rapidly cut off and the body hasn’t had a chance to grow or repurpose other vessels to meet the need.  Blood flow must be restored emergently.

Critical Limb Ischemia

The first presentation is rest pain.  This is pain that is present when the patient is not moving.  Typically, this occurs at night or when the leg is elevated.  Sometimes patients may find it more comfortable to get out of bed and walk around.  Other coping strategies are dangling the leg out of bed or sleeping in a chair to allow gravity to improve the blood flow to the foot.

The second presentation is wounds.  A non-healing wound of the foot should be evaluated quickly.  Wounds may also progress to death of a toe or the foot, gangrene, where the tissue is irreparably damaged by lack of blood flow.  Blood flow must be restored to resolve the symptoms, heal the wound, or reduce the level of amputation for gangrene.  The diagnosis of critical limb ischemia is a major medical problem.

Claudication is pain with walking

These patients have enough blood flow to keep the legs healthy, but when there is increased blood demand from the muscles there isn’t enough to supply them.  Symptoms are pain or cramping in the leg that starts with muscle use such as walking, stairs, or exercise and stops when the patient stops.  Treatment for this starts with medicine, risk factor modification (stop smoking!), and exercise.  If this fails, the patient may require further intervention.

Asymptomatic Peripheral

This is a diseased arterial tree that hasn’t caused any symptoms yet.  The arteries are a single organ that course throughout the body.  Disease of the arteries is global.  This means eventual development of the limb diseases above, but it also means disease of the vessels in the heart (heart attack) and to the brain (stroke).  It is estimated that 10% of the population over 55 has this disease.

How is Arterial Disease Diagnosed?

We diagnose arterial disease with a clinic visit and in-office testing.  For some patients, this may mean a blood pressure cuff on the legs, an ultrasound, a cat scan, an MRI, or an angiogram (placing a small tube into the blood vessel and taking X-rays).  Patients generally do not need all of these tests.

How is Arterial Disease Treated?

Our specialists treat arterial disease with a whole-patient approach.  Many of our patients are surprised by the lifestyle changes, provider coordination, and medications we suggest. NHS listed out some common treatments paths for PAD:

  • Lifestyle modifications. If you’re a smoker you will need to quit.  We have resources to help.  As we deal with patients just like you every day, we understand how hard and trying this can be.  If you’re a diabetic we may need to look at your A1C and dietary modifications.  Most importantly, exercise.  You will need to walk, every single day.  It helps the legs, the heart, and the brain.
  • Medical management . We’ll review your medications and likely add medications.  For claudicants and asymptomatic patients, lifestyle modifications and medical management may be all that is required.
  • Arteriography. Just as we can use a tiny tube to evaluate your vessels, we can introduce tiny tubes that treat your vessels.  This may include balloons, stents, drugs, and devices.  For patients with rest pain, wounds, gangrene, or acute limb ischemia this is likely the preferred way of treatment.

It is important to note that while these presentations seem to be on a spectrum.  They may not progress in a stepwise fashion.  Not all claudicants will progress to critical limb ischemia, and not all critical limb ischemia patients were claudicants.  Some acute limb ischemia patients may not have any significant arterial disease at all.  Every patient is different, and every patient has an individualized care plan.

Why Choose Minimally Invasive Procedure Specialists

Minimally Invasive Procedure Specialists have the most experience of any practice in Colorado in treating pelvic venous disease.  We have performed thousands of vascular procedures and our providers work closely with referring providers.  The majority of our procedures are done at our outpatient interventional suite, decreasing the time between consult to treatment, providing one on one nursing care, and decreasing cost to the patient.

Schedule a Consultation for PAD Treatment in Denver

If you still have questions regarding treatment for PAD, contact Minimally Invasive Procedure Specialists to learn more about the treatment options available. To schedule an appointment with the interventional radiologists at MIPS Center, please call (303) 805-7477 or request an appointment online to schedule a visit at our procedure center near Denver, CO.