PAD Treatment Evolution Helps Stop the Disease from Getting Worse
More than 20 million Americans have peripheral arteryArteries are blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood to your heart and other parts of your body. disease (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 amputation.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 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, quitting smoking, eating healthier, being more physically active, and managing cholesterol and high blood pressure may help treat early-stage PAD.
- Minimally invasive procedures: These procedures are safer and provide faster recovery and healing with less pain and scarring. Your doctor may discuss angioplasty or atherectomy procedures to help open blocked arteries.
- Arterial bypass surgery: While minimally invasive procedures are performed now more often for PAD treatment,32 doctors sometimes recommend bypass surgery to treat critical limb ischemia (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.