LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) -Comanche County Memorial Hospital has a team of physicians who work together to treat Peripheral arterial disease, saving limbs and lives.
Peripheral arterial disease or PAD, is blockage of the arteries to the legs, arms, and head.
“Just like we deal with blockage in the heart, there are blockages in other arteries,” said Interventional Cardiologist Dr. Vijay Velury. “And in the lower extremities, if there is blockages, it can cause problems like wounds, not healing, and gangrene.”
If left untreated, it can lead to amputation. However, podiatrist Dr. Scott Kochenower says it doesn’t have to get to that point.
“Our role is more crucial in early diagnosis,” said Dr. Kochenower. “We play a big role in seeing this clinically and getting it to the right person to make sure that they don’t have long term complications.”
Dr. Kochenower says knowing the symptoms and catching it early, is crucial.
“A lot of people will come in thinking they have neuropathy,” said Dr. Kochenower. “They’ll come in complaining of some skin discoloration, maybe some redness on their feet. They’ll say that they feel numb. They’ll say that they have some tingling when they lift their legs up in the evening or while laying in bed, and they’ll have to get up and walk around.”
Dr. Vijay Velury says, patients can reduce their risk of this disease by living a healthy lifestyle, and not smoking.
“Smoking is a huge thing,” said Dr. Velury. “Then you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol. Those are the things which are modifiable. Controlling the blood sugar, controlling the blood pressure, making sure cholesterol stays down.”
Dr. Kochenower says primary care physicians can send patients to them if they suspect or notice any of the signs.
The cardiologists, podiatrists, wound care specialists and vascular surgeons goal, is limb salvage.
“When I see something, I have all their numbers, I can call them quickly,” said Dr. Kochenower. “We have a new program set up for critical ischemia where we get them in right away. They’re being treated. The faster that we can treat these, the better the outcome we’re finding.”
“Hopefully we make a big impact in the future of decreasing the number of people who need amputations,” said Dr. Velury.
Comanche County Memorial Hospital is holding a lunch and learn on Thursday, November 7th from 11:30 to 1 in the Oakwood Conference Center. During this luncheon, Cardiologist Dr. Vijay Velury, and Podiatrist Dr. Scott Kochenower will have a joint presentation on treating peripheral arterial disease. If you’re interested in attending--- the cost is 10 dollars, and you must call to RSVP at 585-5406.