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Your Health Today

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Online issues:

October 2014 - Physician Advice
June 2014 - Cardiac Services
February 2014 - Emergency Services
October 2013 - Family Birth Center
June 2013 - Amazing Care
February 2013 - Urgent Care

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Carol Bock works in her garden.

Carol Bock has no problem working in her garden following treatment for peripheral artery disease.

Peripheral Artery Disease

Could raise your risk of heart attack or stroke.

Call 314-ANTHONY (268-4669) to schedule your appointment.

Do you have increasing cramps or pain in your legs after walking or exercise? Does it go away when you rest? If so, you should ask your doctor about peripheral artery disease, or PAD. You may have a narrowing or blockage of blood vessels leading to your legs. Because arteries also are linked to the heart and brain, a diagnosis of PAD also could mean potential danger elsewhere in your body.

“People who have PAD have a 20 percent increased risk of coronary artery disease,” says board-certified cardiologist David Dobmeyer, MD, president of St. Anthony's Heart Specialty Associates cardiology group practice. “That means you potentially could have narrowed arteries elsewhere in your body that increase the risk of heart attack or stroke.”

Carol Bock's Story

Festus resident Carol Bock had all the classic symptoms of PAD. “I had gone to South County Mall and had to stop walking because my legs hurt,” she says. “The pain got worse, and it was all I could do to get back to my car. I couldn't feel my feet or legs, but the pain went away after sitting for awhile. ”Treatments range from clot-busting medications and physical therapy to minimally invasive procedures that open the clogged artery. “We use a catheter to clear out the plaque blocking blood flow and then implant a stent (mesh tube) in the same area to keep the artery open,” explains Dobmeyer. “Peripheral artery bypass surgery also is an option to re-route blood flow through a healthier vein.”

Bock has a strong history of heart disease in her family. She also was a smoker, had high cholesterol and was previously diagnosed with arteriosclerosis, a chronic disease that causes a hardening of the arteries, resulting in impaired blood flow. To stop her severe leg pain, cardiologists cleared blockages in the arteries that led down into Bock's legs. Within a week of the procedure, Bock was back to a regular walking routine. She also was able to tend to her backyard garden and go to the grocery store.

"I can walk around without a problem," she says. "I can vacuum my house now and walk several times a day. Life is good now that the pain is gone."

St. Anthony's Medical Center logo

For information, please call our Health Access Line at 314-ANTHONY (268-4669) or 800-554-9550 or visit find a physician online.

Working as trusted partners, the physicians and employees of St. Anthony's Health System will deliver care distinguished by its demonstrated quality and personalized service. We will be visibly engaged in improving the health and well­ being of the communities we serve in South County and beyond. We will stand together, proud to set the standard for independent community health systems.