It’s Okay to Ask for a Second Opinion
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a disease in which plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to your head, organs, and limbs. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, fibrous tissue, and other substances in the blood. (Peripheral Artery Disease, a potentially life threatening disease where plaque, like calcium, builds up along blood vessel walls, narrowing the arteries and reducing blood flow to the legs and feet.) has many treatment options, including long-term lifestyle changes and medications.
However, if you have advanced PAD, these treatments might not be enough. Your doctor may recommend (Arterial bypass surgery) Your doctor will create a graft bypass using a vessel from another part of the body or a blood vessel made of synthetic fabric. This technique allows blood to flow around – or bypass – the blocked or narrowed artery. or To surgically remove all or part of a limb (leg, foot or toe), a common treatment for the most severe stage of PAD.3
So how do you know if other treatment options are available for you?
Get a second opinion. Talk with a doctor who is a PAD specialist or is a part of a A hospital-based, physician-led, comprehensive program in which health care providers coordinate your care among the multiple specialties involved with the goal of saving your legs, feet or toes from amputation..
It’s OK to think about whether another doctor may suggest different treatment options. As with any big decision, you want to make sure you’ve gathered as much information as possible in order to make the best decisions about your health.
Keep in mind, not all health care professionals are PAD specialists — and not all PAD specialists use the same treatment techniques. Treatment options for PAD are constantly advancing, and today’s options are very different than they were just five years ago.20
Some questions you might want to consider asking your doctor:
- Does your clinic/hospital have a limb salvage program?
- What treatment options do I have other than amputation?
- What benefits do these options offer compared to amputation?
It’s up to you to take control of your health. If amputation has been recommended for you, get a second opinion that could help guide your decisions. Medical treatments to help restore blood flow to your legs may be able to help save legs and feet. In many patients, these treatments have been shown to offer advantages when compared to amputation.17
Only a doctor can determine the most appropriate treatment options for your condition, but it’s important to explore your options. Find a PAD specialist near you and ask for a second opinion about your treatment.