Patient Stories: Luke’s Remarkable Journey to Overcoming Arterial Disease

Expert Vascular Surgeon in Youngstown Ohio

It was a chilly Friday afternoon when Luke first noticed something was amiss. His feet, once warm and comforting, had grown startlingly cold. At first, he brushed it off as a minor discomfort, blaming it on the frosty winter weather. 

However, as the days passed, the numbness in his toes crept upward, and Luke realized something serious was happening.

What Causes Arterial Vascular Disease?

Arterial disease, also known as peripheral artery disease (PAD), occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the extremities become narrowed or blocked. This condition is often the result of atherosclerosis, a buildup of plaque within the arteries.

What Are The Symptoms of PAD?

Luke’s initial symptoms were a mere whisper of the life-altering challenges he was about to face. As weeks turned into months, the numbness in his feet intensified, progressing into a relentless, throbbing pain. Walking, once a simple joy, became an excruciating ordeal. Some of the symptoms he experienced were: 

  • Claudication: Claudication is a hallmark symptom of PAD. It’s characterized by pain, cramping, or aching in the legs during physical activity, such as walking or climbing stairs. This discomfort typically subsides with rest.
  • Numbness or Weakness: Some individuals with PAD may experience numbness, weakness, or a “heavy” feeling in the leg muscles.
  • Cold or Discolored Extremities: Reduced blood flow can lead to cooler skin temperatures in the affected limbs. Additionally, the skin may take on a bluish or pale appearance due to insufficient oxygen delivery.
  • Slow-Healing Wounds: Poor circulation can hinder the body’s ability to heal wounds and injuries. Even minor cuts or sores may take a long time to heal, and in severe cases, they can develop into ulcers.
  • Shiny Skin: The skin on the legs may appear shiny or tight, a sign of reduced blood flow.
  • Loss of Hair: PAD can lead to a loss of hair on the legs or feet.
  • Thickened Toenails: Toenails may grow thicker and slower in cases of advanced PAD.
  • Pulse Changes: Diminished or absent pulses in the legs can be indicative of reduced blood flow.


The skin on his feet had transformed from a healthy rosy hue to an unsettling pallor. A bluish tint had crept in, and his toes took on an unnatural, almost lifeless appearance. 

But it was the persistent feeling of ice-cold feet that haunted him the most. It was as if his extremities had been exiled to a world of eternal winter.

Can Arterial Disease Be Cured?

Haunted by uncertainty, Luke decided to visit Dr. Schmetterer, a renowned vascular specialist for his expertise in treating vascular conditions. With a heavy heart and a flicker of hope, he entered the doctor’s office, anxiously waiting for answers.

Reestablishing Blood Flow: A Ray Of Hope

During his first visit to Dr. Schmetterer’s office, Luke was greeted with reassuring words. The doctor, with his years of experience, immediately diagnosed Luke with advanced stage 4 arterial disease. It was a severe case, but Dr. Schmetterer instilled hope in Luke by explaining the available arterial disease treatments in his youngstown’s vein clinic.

Risk Factors That Affected Luke

As Luke learned more about his condition, he also realized that several risk factors had played a significant role in the development of his arterial disease. Some of these risk factors included:

  • Smoking: Luke had been a longtime smoker, a habit that significantly increased his risk of developing PAD.
  • Age: Age is a risk factor for PAD, and as Luke had grown older, the chances of developing the condition had increased.
  • Diabetes: Luke had been living with diabetes, a condition that can contribute to vascular problems.
  • High Blood Pressure: Uncontrolled hypertension was another factor that had contributed to Luke’s arterial disease.
  • High Cholesterol: Elevated cholesterol levels had led to atherosclerosis, one of the primary causes of PAD.
  • Obesity: Excess body weight had added strain to Luke’s circulatory system.

Understanding these risk factors allowed Luke to not only address his current condition but also make essential lifestyle changes to reduce the chances of recurrence.

A Second Chance At Life

With expert precision and a dedication to healing, Dr. Schmetterer performed a series of procedures to reestablish blood flow in Luke’s legs. Using state-of-the-art technology, he carefully cleared the blocked arteries and installed stents to maintain proper circulation.

What Is The Best Treatment For Arterial Disease?

In the expert hands of Dr. Schmetterer, Luke found not only a skilled physician but also a guiding light toward recovery. The best treatment for arterial disease varies depending on the severity of the condition, but for Luke, Dr. Schmetterer’s intervention was life-changing.

Who Is Most At Risk For Arterial Disease?

People at the highest risk for arterial disease include those who smoke, have diabetes, or have a family history of vascular conditions. However, it can affect anyone, as Luke learned the hard way.

Saved From Amputation: A Life Transformed

Slowly but surely, the results of the procedures became evident. The cold, lifeless feet Luke once knew began to regain warmth. The pain that had become an unwelcome companion in his life began to subside, and his mobility gradually improved.

A New Lease on Life

Now, Luke visits Dr. Schmetterer twice a year, where they monitor his condition and make necessary adjustments to his treatment plan. He has learned to cherish every step he takes and no longer takes his circulation for granted.

Can You Live a Long Life With Vascular Disease?

The future for Luke is bright. With proper care and attention, he can live a long and fulfilling life, free from the looming specter of amputation.

The Gift of Second Chances

The story of Luke serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of early detection and the impact that a skilled and compassionate physician can have on a patient’s life. Arterial disease is a challenge, but with expert medical care and a commitment to a healthy lifestyle, it can be overcome.

Epilogue: The Journey Continues

Today, Luke enjoys the warmth of the sun on his face as he walks through the park, a simple pleasure he thought he might never experience again. His life is filled with second chances, thanks to the dedicated care of Dr. Schmetterer, and he intends to make the most of each and every one.

Speak to Dr. Lawrence Schmetterer — the Leading Vascular Surgeon of Choice in Northeast Ohio

Dr. Lawrence Schmetterer is a vascular surgeon and vein expert based in Youngstown, Ohio with services provided in Trumbull, Mahoning, and Columbiana Counties.  

With his vast expertise in vein disease, he can help you with Peripheral Vein Disease. To find out how to combat the effects of venous disease, book your consultation with Dr. Lawrence Schmetterer today.


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