Partner With Your Doctor for PAD Treatment Options
You’ve suspected for a while that your pain is more than just getting older. Wounds won’t heal. Your skin’s discolored. Maybe you’re experiencing numbness or even burning in your legs and feet.
You might have peripheral arterial disease (PAD). This serious condition can lead to amputation or worse, if left untreated. Fortunately, there are a variety of treatment options available for PAD — from less invasive to more invasive. It’s important to have your doctor or specialist provide a diagnosis early.
Don’t hesitate and suffer with the symptoms in silence. Talk to and partner with your doctor to explore all available treatment options.
The PAD Spectrum of Care
Your doctor or PAD specialist will consider your symptoms comprehensively, evaluate your ankle-brachial index (ABI) results and your overall health. Then they will determine possible treatment strategies. If you receive a PAD diagnosis, your treatment plan may include one or more of the following approaches:
- The least-invasive method for treating PAD is through lifestyle modifications.34 These include stopping smoking, managing your diet and exercising regularly.
- In addition, your doctor may prescribe a supervised exercise therapy plan with a healthcare provider before considering medical procedures.
- Your doctor may also prescribe medications to supplement lifestyle changes.8 Medicine can help lower high cholesterol and high blood pressure, prevent formation of blood clots and increase mobility while decreasing pain during walks.
Minimally Invasive Treatments
For more advance cases of PAD, your healthcare provider may recommend minimally invasive treatment options20 that are less complicated and safer than open surgery.
- Angioplasty, stenting and atherectomy are endovascular procedures where small catheters are inserted into an artery and maneuvered to the area of blockage where treatment then occurs. Doctors now perform these procedures more commonly than bypass surgery for PAD.32
- In angioplasties, doctors insert a small balloon that inflates to reopen an artery.
- During an atherectomy, a physician removes plaque buildup in arteries using a catheter.
- Both procedures may be followed by placement of stents to keep the artery open.
- Arterial bypass surgery is a technique in which the surgeon uses a blood vessel or synthetic vessel to create a new path around a blocked artery. As with minimally invasive treatments, doctors can perform an arterial bypass even if your PAD has developed into critical limb ischemia (CLI)16 — the worst form of PAD.5
- Amputation — the removal of a leg, foot or toe — should be the last option after all other forms of treatment are considered.
See the entire treatment spectrum below. You can use it as a reference when discussing treatment options with your doctor.
For More Information
Discuss your symptoms with your doctor or PAD specialist to determine if you have peripheral artery disease. Then determine the best treatment plan for you. There is hope!
To get a second opinion on your PAD diagnosis, please use CSI’s Find a Doctor tool to locate a PAD specialist near you.