Legs for Life screenings across the nation raise awareness about vascular disease, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. At this year’s Legs for Life held at Medical Imaging of Fredericksburg on Sept. 29, medical organizations provided free screenings to evaluate patients for peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA).
R. Donald Doherty Jr., MD, a board- certified interventional radiologist with Virginia Interventional & Vascular Associates (VIVA), recently discussed local progress in a national statement by the Society of Interventional Radiology, which started Legs for Life in 1998.
“We decided to hold—and continue to hold—Legs for Life screenings after realizing that many of our patients were concerned as symptoms of PAD became evident,” Dr. Doherty said. “We screen more than 100 patients every year and have found that about 40 percent of our participants require follow-up for unrecognized abdominal aortic aneurysms, peripheral arterial disease, or venous reflux symptoms.”
PAD symptoms can include numbness, tingling, or coldness in the lower legs or feet, or ulcers or sores on the legs or feet that will not heal. AAA has few early symptoms, but patients with a family history of aneurysms are at increased risk. Patients attending the local event also learned about treatments, alternatives to surgery, and healthy habits, said Pamela McGrath, event coordinator.
Local organizations sponsoring Legs for Life are VIVA, the Mary Washington Healthcare (MWHC) Virginia Heart & Vascular Institute, Stafford Hospital and Medical Imaging, a partnership of MWHC and Radiologic Associates of Fredericksburg.