FACTS ABOUT PERIPHERAL ARTERIAL DISEASE (PAD) FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS

One in every 20 Americans over the age of 50 has P.A.D., a condition that raises the risk for heart attack and stroke. Peripheral arterial disease, or P.A.D., develops when your arteries become clogged with plaque—fatty deposits that limit blood flow to your limbs, especially your legs. Just like clogged arteries in the heart, clogged arteries in the legs mean you are at risk for having a heart attack or stroke.

P.A.D. is more common in African Americans than any other racial or ethnic group. This may be in part because some of the conditions that raise the risk for developing P.A.D., such as diabetes and high blood pressure, are more common among African Americans.

The following article written by the US Department of Health and Human Services provides an exceptional overview of their ongoing research and findings about PAD in the African American Community. We encourage any of our patients interested in learning more about how PAD impacts this community group to click on the following link.

https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/files/docs/public/heart/pad_extfactsheet_aa_508.pdf

Dr. Polly G Kokinos, a board certified Vascular and General Surgeon in Campbell, CA. is recognized as one of the regions foremost authorities in the diagnosis and treatment of PAD. With offices in both Campbell and Gilroy, CA. Dr. Kokinos has dedicated her 24 year career to serving the South County community as a Vascular Surgeon and is a pioneer in the evaluation and treatment of patients suffering from Peripheral Arterial Disease.

Unlike other Vascular Surgeons in the region who do their work at a local hospital or in shared facilities, Dr. Kokinos’ does her surgeries in a private, nationally accredited Vascular Surgery Center of Excellence. She focuses entirely on treating patients suffering from complex vascular disorders and unlike a traditional hospital she has the most advanced imaging and device technology available anywhere in the world. Most importantly, unlike a University or community hospitals, Dr. Kokinos’ patients experience the individualized care of “One Patient, One Doctor and One Nurse” rather than the cold, informal “production” environment of a typical hospital.

If you or anyone you love suffers from any of the conditions listed above, please call our office at 408-376-3626 or contact us to schedule an appointment. Most insurances are accepted and our staff typically can schedule an appointment within a few days for an initial consultation and non-invasive vascular ultrasound study. All ultrasound testing is done in our on-site Vascular Ultrasound Lab, The Institute for Vascular Testing making it significantly easier for our patients to be fully evaluated in a single visit and in a single facility.

South Bay Vascular Center and Vein Institute: We Offer Hope When Others Say There Is None

WHY DIABETIC FOOT WOUNDS DON’T HEAL

One of the main complications of diabetes is the development of diabetic foot ulcers. Diabetic foot ulcers occur in 15% of all patients with diabetes. There are four primary contributing factors to the developments of these ulcers.

  • The presence of peripheral neuropathy (loss of feeling over the toes);
  • Changes in the architecture (shape) of the foot causing it to have pressure on areas ot built for it;
  • Poor blood flow to the foot;
  • A decreased ability to fight infection in the foot.

The main reason why diabetic wounds do not heal is due to lack of blood flow to the ulcer and ongoing pressure to the wound

Diabetics must pay special attention to their feet and ankles and it is vitally important to NOT ignore a small wound when it develops. Diabetic wounds, when left untreated, are the cause of 85% of the amputations that occur in these patients. Once these ulcers develop, they often DO NOT HEAL just by putting a Band-Aid over them, or even with wound care and ointments prescribed by your primary care doctor.

Care of Diabetic Foot Wounds

It is very important to see both a podiatrist (foot specialist) and a vascular surgeon (blood flow specialist) to examine your foot. These doctors can help with special treatments such as debridement (cleaning the wound), off-loading (taking pressure of the wound) and improvement of blood flow to help your wound heal. Debridement helps remove dead tissue and bacteria from the wound. Off-loading and special inserts or shoes allow the pressure to be removed from the wound so that it can heal. Diabetes causes blockages with calcium deposits inside your small blood vessels, which are below the knee, and this prevents oxygen and nutrients from getting to your feet. The vascular surgeons at South Bay Vascular Center have a special interest and expertise in opening these blood vessels in order to bring flow to your toes and feet that can help save patients from amputation. If you or anyone you know suffers from diabetes and are experiencing foot wounds that do not heal, call us immediately at 408-376-3626 to schedule an appointment to have these wounds evaluated.

PREVENTING DIABETIC AMPUTATIONS IN SAN JOSE

Every year over 160,000 amputations are performed in America. 60%-80% of Medicare patients who undergo amputation never walk again. Worse yet, there is a 30-50%, 2-year mortality rate following an amputation…meaning that between 30% and 50% of all patients undergoing an amputation die within 2 years of their procedure.

Recent advancements in both imaging and medical device technology have significantly improved a patients chances for a different outcome: avoiding amputation. Educating patients about these new procedures, however, is still very difficult because many of these new advances are known only to the surgeons and universities pioneering them. In fact, recent studies show that more than 54% of patients were not even assessed using diagnostic angiograms to determine if blood flow could be restored to their affected limbs prior to the amputation. Earlier this year, Medicare published figures showing that a full 67% of medicare patients who underwent a major amputation never even had a re-vascularization procedure in an attempt to save their limb.

Dr.’s Kokinos and Pineda are recognized as specialists in the field of lower limb re-vascularization and limb salvage. Having performed more pedal access re-vascularization cases (approaching the affected limb via the foot instead of the groin) than any other physicians in the region provides these South Bay Vascular surgeons with the experience and judgement to help patients avoid diabetic amputations and to treat patients with advanced cases of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) or what is otherwise known as Chronic Limb Ischemia (CLI).

If you or someone you know is facing the possibility of lower limb amputation, STOP! CALL US FOR A SECOND OPINION. South Bay Vascular is Taking a Stand Against Amputation and you should too. Call us at 408-376-3626 to schedule a thorough evaluation of your options. We are specialists in the area of lower limb re-vascularization and we provide hope when others say there is none.