Hearing the words, “you have Peripheral Artery Disease” can be scary. As plaque builds up in the arteries, they begin to narrow and blood has a harder time flowing to important areas of the body. While a serious disease that requires prompt treatment, Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) has several treatment options that can manage the disease, treat your symptoms, and keep your arteries and blood flow working properly.
Peripheral Artery Disease Treatment Options
If you have PAD, your doctor will work with you to develop an appropriate treatment plan. It’s important to remember that which treatment option will work best for you depends on the severity and location of your PAD, as well as your unique health needs. Some patients may see excellent results from lifestyle changes alone, while others need additional (or different) types of care.
For mild PAD sufferers, lifestyle changes may be enough to slow or even halt the progression of your disease. Commonly prescribed lifestyle changes include:
- Stop smoking
- Exercise regularly
- Eat a healthy diet that’s low in fats and cholesterol
- Manage underlying conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure
There are many prescription medications available to treat the signs and symptoms of PAD and lower your risk for other health conditions. Your doctor may prescribe medications to treat underlying conditions like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes. PAD patients may also receive medications to prevent blood clots, improve blood flow, reduce pain from claudication, and more.
If your PAD cannot be controlled through lifestyle changes and medication alone, surgical intervention may be needed. The most common surgical procedures to treat PAD include:
Arterial Bypass. The most common treatment for PAD involves inserting a graft bypass to move blood around the blocked or narrowed artery. The graft may be made from a vessel taken from another part of your body or using synthetic (man-made) materials.
Angioplasty. A less invasive procedure known as an angioplasty involves using a catheter to thread a balloon into the affected artery. The balloon is then inflated, flattening the blockage into the artery wall and stretching the artery to improve blood flow. If needed, your doctor may insert a mesh or metallic stent to keep the artery open.
Clot Treatment. If a blood clot is completely restricting the blood flow in an artery, your doctor may insert clot-busting medication into the artery to dissolve the clot or may need to remove the clot completely.
If you’ve been diagnosed with or are at risk of Peripheral Artery Disease, the expert physicians at Vascular Associates of South Alabama can help! We specialize in high-tech, minimally invasive treatment options to diagnose, manage, and treat your PAD. Schedule an appointment to visit our on-site, state-of-the-art lab and outpatient facility today!