Arterial disease or other wise known as poor circulation can have a devastating impact on a patient's quality of life. Chronic, progressive arterial disease can lead to complications such as pain in the calf upon ambulation. Ischemic rest pain, which is pain due to a lack of oxygen to the extremities, can be a common result of poor circulation. Ulcerations and infections can develop and the healing potential is very poor if the arterial disease progresses.
A thorough vascular examination should be performed by your physician. There are various physical tests that can be performed by your doctor during a typical office visit to assess circulation. A very highly conservative, non-invasive, sensitive examination performed in office to assess a patient's circulation includes an Arterial Doppler Flow Study. This a non-invasive examination that can test for the circulation in the lower extremity including the Arteries and the Veins. A probe (transducer) is placed against the skin on a slight angle. The probe then uses then reflects the sound of blood flow going by. This sound is then amplified on an external speaker. The sound is audible and sounds like a heartbeat. A tracing is then made on the analyzer and certain characteristics should be present. There are no side effects or risks to the patient.
The microcirculation is tested via photoplethsmography (ppg) non invasively. A small probe is placed on the tip of the toes and the microcirculation can be assessed. The greatest offenders to microcirculation are caffeine and nicotine which may be responsible for cold hands and feet. This non-invasive test is performed in office rapidly and results are available on the completion of the test. Please click here to read our Doppler Flow Study brochure which contains answers to frequently asked questions.