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What Are The Stages Of Peripheral Artery Disease?

Stages of peripheral artery disease

Overview Of Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral artery disease, or PAD, is a long-term medical condition that affects your legs and mobility. This disease can vary from a mild condition without any symptoms to a severe condition that can result in amputation. Wondering what actually is peripheral artery disease? What are the symptoms of PAD? Are there different stages of peripheral artery disease? Scroll down to learn more about peripheral artery disease.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, peripheral artery disease is a common condition that affects approximately 12 to 14% of the population. It becomes more common as people get older, affecting up to 20% or 1 in 5 people over the age of 75.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that, in the United States, an estimated 6.5 million people aged 40 and older have PAD. Globally, the number of people with peripheral artery disease is estimated to be over 200 million.

Four Stages Of Peripheral Artery Disease

There are four stages of peripheral artery disease, which are asymptomatic, claudication, critical limb ischemia, and acute limb ischemia. With these peripheral artery disease stages, the severity of the symptoms increases in the patients.

1. Asymptomatic

During the initial stage of peripheral artery disease, not all people will experience symptoms related to this disease. There will be mild fatty deposits in the arteries, so the majority of the patients do not exhibit any symptoms.

If you smoke regularly and have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes, there is a high chance that you might be suffering from peripheral artery disease. So, it is best to reach out to the vein doctors, get tested, and get early treatment if you are diagnosed with PAD.

In order to diagnose this disease, the vein doctors will perform the required tests, such as an angiogram or ankle-brachial index. If diagnosed early, your condition can be greatly improved by avoiding smoking, sticking to a good diet, regular exercise, and different lifestyle improvements.

Peripheral artery disease stages

2. Claudication

Claudication is the second stage of peripheral artery disease, where you will feel extreme discomfort and pain in the lower extremities, which happens because of insufficient blood flow. You are likely to experience frequent discomfort in your calves, thighs, or buttocks.

Most of the time, this discomfort feels like cramps because of excessive physical strain. You can get rid of this discomfort by exercising or taking enough rest. However, excessive amounts of physical activity can often cause pain. If you are suffering from claudication for a long time without seeking any medical help, you are likely to develop a limp.

3. Critical Limb Ischemia

Reduced blood flow to an organ or any body part is called ischemia. If you have peripheral artery disease for a lengthy period and leave it untreated, you will get into the critical limb ischemia stage. In this stage, you will experience constant discomfort, even during nighttime, for over two weeks. Other common symptoms include ulcers, skin sores, and non-healing injuries in one or both legs.

Critical limb ischemia, or CLI, is a severe artery block in the lower extremities that can eventually harm your leg arteries. This is a chronic medical condition, and you have a high chance of losing a limb, heart attack, vascular death, or stroke.

As critical limb ischemia is a severe stage of peripheral artery disease, you need to visit a professional Advanced Medical Group to get the required treatment. For treating critical limb ischemia, vein doctors often perform balloon angioplasty, bypass, etc.

4. Acute Limb Ischemia

Complete loss of blood flow to the extremities, which leads to rapid deterioration of the limbs and even death, is acute limb ischemia or ALI. Acute limb ischemia is the fourth stage of peripheral artery disease and increases the risk of stroke, heart disease, and physical impairment.

During this stage, blood clots in your legs are suddenly damaged and run through the artery, which entirely restricts the blood flow. It results in a weak pulse and severe discomfort in your legs. If acute limb ischemia is left untreated, it may lead to limb amputation. So, emergency treatment is required for this stage of peripheral artery disease.

Some of the common symptoms associated with acute limb ischemia include extreme pain, loss of pulse or weak pulse, paleness, tingling sensations, and even paralysis.

Final Thoughts On PAD Stages

Even though peripheral artery disease is a long-term condition, it is treatable by improving your diet, exercising, and other lifestyle changes. To treat severe stages of peripheral artery disease, Our vein doctors will perform surgery. So, make sure to reach out to healthcare specialists if you have frequent leg pain or any of the above-listed symptoms of peripheral artery disease.

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Fatima Shaik MD


Fatima Shaik is a board certified internist and cardiologist. She specializes in general cardiology and heart rhythm disorders. She cares for patients at Advanced Medical Group in Jersey City and North Bergen. She also performs procedures at Jersey City Medical Center.

She completed her undergraduate education at NYU and received her MD degree for SUNY Downstate Medical Center. She completed her residency training at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center and her cardiology fellowship at New York Presbyterian Queens. She went on for advanced training in electrophysiology at Cooper Hospital in Camden, NJ.
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She is fluent in English and Hindi.
She is currently accepting new patients.

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Reema Parikh received two bachelor’s degrees from Long Island University and Touro College, and graduated as a Doctor of Physical Therapy from Touro College in 2013. In her early years as a DPT, she received an award for excellence in research and taught a course for the national physical therapy licensing board exam. Dr. Parikh has a passion for helping patients on their health journey; she is experienced in all ages and care of patients, ranging from pediatric care to geriatric care. She has hosted live and virtual workouts for varying levels of physical activity, incorporating mobility and strength segments. Dr. Parikh has furthered her education by receiving certifications in many aspects of physical therapy and holistic care including Nutritional PT, Restorative Yoga, Pilates, and Reiki.

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Aishwarya Parab, PT

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Dr. Prajakta Avhad is double board-certified in Pain Management and Anesthesiology. Dr. Avhad received her M.B.B.S. from MIMER, India, and completed her Surgical internship and Anesthesia residency at Brookdale University Hospital in Brooklyn, New York during which she interned at Memorial Sloan Kettering, St. Luke’s Roosevelt, and Staten Island Hospital.

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Dr. Avhad is a diplomate of the American Board of Anesthesiology and a member of the American Academy of Pain Medicine.

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Dr. Avhad and her family reside in New Jersey. She is an avid gardener active with her kids, dog, and garden if not tending to her broad and exotic orchid collection.

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Radhika Patel, PA-C

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About Patel
Graduating summa cum laude from Rutgers University with a BA in Biological Sciences and minor in Spanish, Radhika Patel obtained experiences in outpatient medicine as well as in emergency medical services prior to pursuing a career as a physician assistant. She graduated from the Rutgers University Physician Assistant program with a Master of Science after training in cardiology, internal medicine, and urgent care, among many other fields at various hospitals and private practices throughout the state of New Jersey. She is a proud member of the team at Advanced Garden State Cardiology and looks forward to meeting with patients each day in our Jersey City office.

Enrique D Chappilliquen Lucio, PA-C

Enrique Chappilliquen, PA-C

Physician Assistant located in Union City, NJ & Jersey City, NJ

About Dr. Chappilliquen
Graduated from Mercy College Physician Assistant Program with a Masters of Science in Physician Assistant Studies, Enrique has extensive experience in the medical field for more than 6 years.

He has clinical experience and training in internal medicine, cardiology, general and vascular surgery, hematology, oncology, and emergency medicine. He joined Dr. Richard’s practice in October of 2016. Since then, he has been a dedicated medical provider working in the Union City office and the Hematology/Oncology office in Jersey City as well.

As a Hispanic, he proudly serves his community with passion and devotion. Being able to communicate fluently with his patients allows him the opportunity to provide excellent medical care to the Hispanic community in Union City and Jersey City. Also, sharing the same language, culture, and values as his patients allows him to connect at a personal level with his patients. Enrique continues to develop his knowledge and skills constantly to continue satisfying the needs of his patients.

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Dr. Samaniego provides comprehensive foot and ankle care at Advanced Medical Group in Jersey City, Union City, and West New York. His specialized surgical training includes

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Samaniego is a member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons and the American Podiatric Medical Association. He keeps up to date on the latest surgical techniques and available technology in foot and ankle care.

Prior to joining Advanced Medical Group, Samaniego studied public healthcare in Zambia and assisted in providing care to the local community. He has also presented research at the annual meeting of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Samaniego achieved the highest rank of Eagle Scout through the Boy Scouts of America and volunteered with Troop 454 for scouts with special needs and the Freehold Public Library. In his free time, Samaniego volunteers with his local church community service and youth programs.

Samaniego resides in Jersey City, NJ and maintains his health by cycling and interval training several times a week. He explains, “Healthy doctors inspire healthy patients. I follow the same advice I give my patients, and I read constantly to become a better physician every day. I encourage my patients to ask questions and learn about the cause of their symptoms. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Dr. Merwin Richard, MD. A cardiologist

Merwin Richard, MD

Cardiologist located in Jersey City, NJ & Union City, NJ

As an established board-certified internist and cardiologist, Merwin Richard, MD, has a reputation for helping patients with the most complex of health conditions. He cares for patients at Advanced Medical Group in West New York, Jersey City, and Union City, New Jersey.

Richard began his undergraduate education in medicine at Stanley Medical College in India. He earned his doctor of medicine degree from Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. Medical University before relocating to New York City.

After completing both his internship and internal medicine residency through the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Dr. Richard went through advanced fellowship training. He completed a cardiovascular fellowship at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, then went on to finish a second fellowship in interventional cardiology through Mount Sinai School of Medicine (now Icahn).


Throughout his career, Richard has stayed involved in numerous research projects and previously served as a professor at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (now Rutgers University). Richard went on to become the director of the first cardiac catheterization and interventional laboratory in Jersey City and has extensive training in vein treatments.

To ensure he continues staying up to date with the latest research and techniques, Richard maintains his board memberships. He’s board certified through the American Board of Internal Medicine in cardiovascular disease and interventional cardiology.

Being fluent in English,  Spanish, and Tamil gives Richard the opportunity to communicate with patients from diverse cultural backgrounds. Richard is currently accepting new patients.