Northeast Georgia Physician Group Offering Free Screenings for Peripheral Arterial Disease

July 15, 2014

HOSCHTON, Ga. – Northeast Georgia Physicians Group Vascular Center will offer free Ankle Brachial Index (ABI) screenings on July 21, 23 and 25 at their office in Braselton.  ABI testing is a painless, non-invasive way to spot Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD).  To schedule a time for your free screening, call 770-219-4000.

PAD affects as much as 20 percent of Americans age 65 and older.  The disease occurs when clogged arteries cause decreased blood flow to the legs, which can result in pain when walking and eventually gangrene and amputation.

The most common symptom of PAD is painful cramping in the leg or hip when walking or exercising and typically disappears when the person stops the activity.  Other symptoms include aching feet and toes, even when resting; cold legs or feet; numbness, tingling/weakness in the lower legs and feet; loss of hair on the lower legs; and night pain in the legs.  Smokers, diabetics, people who do not exercise regularly and who are overweight are at greater risk for developing PAD.  Risk is also higher among those who have high blood pressure or high cholesterol and those with a family history of vascular disease.

The Ankle Brachial Index screening involves measuring and comparing blood pressure in the arms and each leg and the use of an ultrasound stethoscope called a “Doppler.”

”Catching PAD early can help us save a limb from amputation," says Thomas A. Abbruzzese, MD, FACS, "but it can also help us identify immediately life-threatening issues like aortic aneurysms and stroke.  The Ankle Brachial Index is painless, only takes a few minutes, and is an important screening for people over the age of 65."

With more than 70 years combined experience, the physicians of Northeast Georgia Physicians Group Vascular Center are experts in the treatment of peripheral vascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, aneurysm disease and vein disease. Learn more at



Northeast Georgia Physicians Group (NGPG) is one of the largest multispecialty groups in North Georgia.  Representing 20 medical specialties, we bring together more than 200 talented physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners, along with other clinical staff, at more than 55 locations.  As part of Northeast Georgia Health System, NGPG is affiliated with Northeast Georgia Medical Center – Georgia’s #1 Hospital (CareChex®) and one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals (Truven Health Analytics®).  Learn more at and