Peripheral Artery Disease Treatment

If you have recently been diagnosed with peripheral arterial disease, or PAD, your doctor will actively begin to develop treatment plans. The goal of treatment is to both manage symptoms that may be hindering your physical activity, and to stop the progression of atherosclerosis throughout your body, thus reducing risk of heart attack and stroke.  

Depending on the severity of your PAD, any or a combination of the following may be recommended. 

Medication for PAD

You may be prescribed medication in order to help many of the symptoms that come with PAD. These symptoms for which you may be prescribed medication include, but are not limited to: 

  • High Cholesterol
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Blood Sugar or Diabetes
  • Blood Clots
  • Leg Pain or Claudication 

It’s important to consult with your doctor before beginning any sort of treatment via medication, as they may not be necessary for very long periods of time. 

Changes in Your Lifestyle

If your PAD is not causing claudication or another serious issue, your doctor will likely suggest a series of lifestyle changes that can help alleviated your PAD symptoms over time. These changes may include: 

Quit Smoking

As a direct cause to the constriction of your arteries, quitting smoking is often the first recommendation. Even if you do not currently have PAD, it is recommended to stop smoking in order to prevent PAD in the future. 

Adopt a Better Diet 

Eating foods that are high in saturated fats can lead to a plethora of health issues, including those that contribute to PAD such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and cardiovascular disease. Creating and maintaining a heart healthy diet filled with vegetables and fruits can help prevent and treat PAD. 

Take Small Strides Toward Exercise

Exercise can help your muscles use oxygen more efficiently, thus extending how far you may be able to walk without pain. In addition, exercise can help your blood flow, preventing further issues with cardiovascular disease and cholesterol. 

Surgical PAD Procedures

If your PAD is not able to be remedied via medications or exercise, or has reached a specific level of severity, your doctor may recommend a traditional or minimally invasive surgical procedure. 

Minimally Invasive PAD Surgeries

Angioplasty

Your surgeon will insert a small catheter into the artery that is blocked or is restricting blood flow. On the tip of the catheter, a balloon will be expanded, creating a wider channel that allows the blood to pass freely. This is a very common form of treatment for PAD. 

Atherectomy

Similar to an angioplasty, the atherectomy begins with a catheter inserted into the blocked or restricted area. However, instead of using a balloon, this procedure uses a small blade to shave away the plaque that is blocking the artery and removes it from your body. 

Traditional PAD Surgeries

Bypass

This is often a last resort for PAD treatment, and is not typically discussed during the first stages of the treatment process. If PAD is affecting major arteries, a bypass procedure may be warranted in order to allow blood to pass around the blocked or narrowed artery. Bypass will require a longer hospital stay. 

Contact Cardiology Associates of Sussex County For Further Recommendations

Though there are a number of other potential treatment options, including holistic or home remedies, that people often try, it’s important to monitor your level of pain and involve a specialist as soon as possible. Your doctor will run a series of tests to determine the most accurate level treatment for your stage of PAD. 

Contact Cardiology Associates of Sussex County today to set up your appointment!