Blocked Arm Arteries

Blocked Arm Arteries Specialists
Although peripheral arterial disease (PAD) usually affects leg arteries, it can also affect the arteries in your chest. Arm artery blockage can also be caused by a blood clot that travels from your heart, or by an artery that’s been injured. At Northeast Ohio Vascular Associates (NEOVA) in Willoughby, Ohio, Dr. David L. Rollins, Dr. Vikram K. Rao, and their top-notch vascular team provide comprehensive blocked arm artery care for patients in and around the Cleveland area.

Blocked Arm Arteries Q & A

Northeast Ohio Vascular Associates

What causes arm artery disease?

Atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries brought on by the buildup of plaque deposited in the artery walls, is the main cause of PAD. This can also affect the arteries to the arm, particularly the ones coming out of the chest.

Other causes of PAD include complications from dialysis access procedures, diabetes mellitus, and autoimmune disease such as lupus, scleroderma or rheumatoid arthritis.

The factors that increase developing arm artery disease include:

  • Tobacco use
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Diabetes
  • History of heart disease
  • Peripheral arterial disease

Most of these risk factors can be changed through lifestyle modifications.

What are the signs and symptoms of arm artery disease?

When arm artery disease is in the beginning stages, the patient usually doesn’t have any symptoms. One of the most common early symptoms is weakness in the hand and arm which occurs after repetitive use. This may be brought on by simple tasks, like combing your hair or keeping your arms above your head when you’re performing specific actions.
Additional arm artery blockage symptoms include:

  • Cold sensitivity
  • Bluish discoloration to the fingers or hand
  • Finger pain at rest
  • Lack of a pulse
  • Open sores on fingers or hands (finger gangrene)
  • Cramping muscle (arm claudication)

What does treatment entail?

Arm artery disease treatment depends on the cause. If an autoimmune disease is involved, the right medication may be the only treatment that’s required. For less severe or progressed cases of the disease, losing weight, quitting smoking, eating a heart-healthy diet, controlling blood pressure, and other necessary lifestyle changes may be enough.

Angioplasty, a surgical procedure that involves inserting a stent into a vessel to keep it open can be used as treatment for subclavian artery narrowing and blockage. A fresh clot in the arm is typically treated with thrombolytic therapy to dissolve blood clots, or with open surgery so that the clots can be physically extracted. Bypass surgery may be the best choice for more severe blockages.

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