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. Treatment Evolution Helps Stop the Disease from Getting Worse
More than 20 million Americans have 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. (PAD).1 However, while so many Americans are affected by PAD, too few are receiving treatment.
PAD is a complex disease. Early detection and getting treatment could help stop the disease from getting worse — and potentially save a toe or leg from To surgically remove all or part of a limb (leg, foot or toe).17
The good news is that there are more treatment options available now for PAD, according to Dr. Chris Boyes, vascular surgeon at Coastal Vein and Vascular Specialists in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.
“Previously, if people had severe disease in the small Arteries are blood vessels that carry blood to your heart and other parts of your body. below the knee, we typically took X-rays and said, ‘okay, we’re done,’ ” says Dr. Boyes. “Then we sent them to the wound care center, crossed our fingers and hoped that the wound healed. If the wound didn’t heal, then we would do an amputation.”
Current PAD Treatment Options
While patients 5 to 10 years ago didn’t have many options for therapy, now there’s a range of possible treatments that avoid amputation, according to Dr. Boyes.
- Lifestyle modifications: Managing (Diabetes mellitus) is a group of metabolic diseases characterized by hyperglycemia resulting from defects in insulin secretion, insulin action, or both., quitting smoking, eating healthier, being more physically active, and managing cholesterol and high blood pressure may help treat early-stage PAD.
- In minimally invasive surgery, surgeons use a variety of techniques to operate with less injury to the body than with open surgery. In general, it is safer than open surgery and allows you to recover faster and heal with less pain and scarring. procedures: These procedures are safer and provide faster recovery and healing with less pain and scarring. Your doctor may discuss In this minimally invasive procedure, a small, hollow tube (catheter) is threaded through a blood vessel to the affected artery. A small balloon on the tip of the catheter is inflated to reopen the artery and flatten the blockage into the artery wall, while at the same time stretching the artery open to increase blood flow. or A minimally invasive procedure to open blocked arteries by using a device on the end of a catheter to remove atherosclerotic plaque (a deposit of fat and other substances that accumulate in the lining of the artery wall). procedures to help open blocked arteries.
- 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.: While minimally invasive procedures are performed now more often for PAD treatment,32 doctors sometimes 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. to treat Also potentially known as CLI, the most severe and deadly form of peripheral artery disease. (CLI) ― the worst form of PAD.5
The effects of PAD can lead to other severe health problems. If you’re concerned about new symptoms or ones that aren’t getting better, don’t wait to explore your treatment options. There is hope!
For more information
If you’re experiencing nighttime leg pain, pain while walking, numbness or burning sensations, or wounds that won’t heal, talk to your doctor about your symptoms so you can get help as soon as possible. To find a doctor or get a second opinion, use CSI’s Find a Doctor tool to help explore the variety of PAD treatment options available.