Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Treatment

Treating Peripheral Arterial Disease

If you are suffering from the effects of peripheral artery disease (PAD), we want you to know that there’s help available. PAD develops when plaque builds up in the arteries. Over time, peripheral artery disease can lead to painful leg symptoms, impact your ability to walk or climb stairs, and place you at increased risk for serious health conditions like heart attack, stroke, and amputation.

Fortunately, a range of effective PAD treatment options exist that can improve your situation. To determine which treatment approach is best for you, we recommend visiting a vascular specialist. At USA Vascular Centers, our vascular doctors can make personalized recommendations based on your medical history and the severity of your condition. 

When it comes to PAD treatment at USA Vascular Centers, we aim to:

  • Reduce symptoms: PAD can cause leg pain and weakness, difficulty walking and climbing stairs, skin changes and non-healing sores, and erectile dysfunction. 
  • Improve mobility and quality of life: When you are unable to move around comfortably, it becomes challenging to perform daily activities and enjoy life to its fullest. 
  • Prevent dangerous health consequences: PAD can place you at increased risk for heart attack, stroke, and limb amputation. 

We specialize in providing minimally invasive treatment that can alleviate your symptoms, improve mobility, and get you back to normal life.

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What Are the Treatment Options for PAD?

We understand that the prospect of developing a PAD treatment plan can be stressful, and you may not know where to start. At USA Vascular Centers, our doctors are not only top experts in vascular health, but they are also compassionate individuals who care about the health and life quality of our patients.

Lifestyle changes to treat PAD

LIFESTYLE CHANGES

Medications to treat peripheral artery disease

MEDICATION

Cardio-vascular doctor advice

SPECIAL PROCEDURES

There are three main approaches to PAD treatment: 

  • Lifestyle modifications: If you have PAD or are aiming to prevent it, a vascular specialist may encourage you to make changes such as: quitting smoking; lowering your high blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose levels; following a healthy eating plan; losing weight; or beginning a regular exercise routine.
  • Medication: In addition to lifestyle changes, you may also be prescribed medications to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, treat diabetes, prevent the formation of blood clots, or help reduce leg pain.
  • Minimally Invasive Treatments: If the blood flow in one of your limbs is completely or almost completely blocked, you may benefit from treatment. USA Vascular Centers offer procedures that can improve the blood circulation to your legs and may lessen the frequency and intensity of your pain.
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What Is the Best Treatment for Peripheral Artery Disease?

The best treatment for your Peripheral Artery Disease depends on several factors, including disease severity and your medical history. When PAD is diagnosed early, lifestyle modifications and medications may be enough to meet our main treatment goals of alleviating symptoms, improving mobility, and reducing threat to life and limb.

PAD is a progressive disease that occurs in stages. The first stage is mild, or asymptomatic PAD, during which it is common for patients to experience no symptoms at all. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, about 20 to 50% of patients diagnosed with PAD are asymptomatic. If you have mild PAD, your doctor may suggest that you: 

  • Work with a trainer to develop a daily exercise program
  • Join a medical weight-loss program to obtain a healthy BMI
  • Discuss personalized dietary improvements with a dietician
  • Focus on controlling high blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels
  • Contact a tobacco cessation program to quit smoking 
  • Begin daily aspirin therapy
  • Take other prescribed medications to improve blood circulation

The next stage is symptomatic PAD. As the disease progresses and arteries narrow, blood flow is restricted to the lower extremities, causing claudication. Claudication is leg pain that is triggered by physical activity, and ceases while at rest. However, most patients experience what is called atypical claudication, which is when the leg pain doesn’t consistently resolve with rest. 

PAD that has progressed into the most severe stage is called critical limb ischemia (CLI). In patients with CLI, claudication has worsened, causing loss of mobility and increased pain during rest. Other symptoms of critical limb ischemia are leg ulcers, gangrene of the leg tissue, and pain during rest that lasts more than 14 days. 

stent-angioplasty

If your condition has progressed beyond the initial, asymptomatic stage, there are treatments available that can improve blood flow and alleviate symptoms. At USA Vascular Centers, we provide treatment for PAD using minimally invasive methods. Our non-surgical treatment options include:

  • Angioplasty: A common procedure that uses a catheter to implant a small balloon into the affected artery. The balloon is then expanded, compressing the plaque to restore blood flow to the artery. 
  • Stent placement: Similar to angioplasty, this treatment places a small, mesh stent into the blocked artery. The stent is permanent: it’ job is to keep the artery open and prevent pieces of plaque from breaking off and causing another blockage. 
  • Atherectomy: A procedure that uses a rotating or laser catheter to shave off plaque, removing it from the artery walls.

Who Treats Peripheral Artery Disease?

Historically, treatment for PAD was limited to lifestyle modifications and medication for mild stage PAD and surgery for more severe stages. With medical advances, endovascular techniques and technologies have become widely available. Endovascular procedures are innovative, minimally invasive methods used to treat conditions that affect blood vessels, like PAD. 

Doctors who treat PAD are typically called vascular surgeons. Vascular surgeons are trained in performing surgery and non-surgical, endovascular procedures. At USA Vascular Centers, our doctors who treat PAD are specialized in using minimally invasive techniques, which have advantages over surgery. Our non-surgical procedures require no general anesthesia, have short recovery times, and can reduce the painful symptoms of PAD. Many of our doctors are also interventional radiologists, which means they are trained in the use of imaging technologies, like ultrasound, to diagnose and treat conditions. 

Schedule Your Consultation With USA Vascular Today!

No matter what stage of PAD you are experiencing, it’s crucial to work with experts who specialize in treating vascular conditions.  The vascular specialists who treat PAD at USA Vascular Centers provide minimally invasive treatment options and support for your whole treatment journey. From initial consultation to creating an ongoing plan for your future wellbeing, we offer the expert care you deserve. Schedule online or give us a call at 888.773.2193 to visit a vascular specialist at one of our accredited centers across the country. 

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Timely detection and treatment of PAD can improve the quality of your life; help you keep your independence and mobility; and reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke, leg amputation, and even death.

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888-773-2193