PAD Treatment: Ongoing Treatment and Care
If you’ve been diagnosed with peripheral artery disease (PAD), you may be wondering about ongoing treatment and care. For the best health outcomes, we generally recommend consulting a vascular specialist to develop a personalized treatment plan for PAD. Depending on the severity of your disease, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following options:
Lifestyle modifications: Sometimes referred to as natural PAD treatment, implementing healthy lifestyle changes can be highly beneficial. Our leading experts often suggest:
- Quitting smoking
- Losing excess weight
- Eating a well-rounded diet
- Avoiding unhealthy foods and substances
- Exercising regularly
- Managing related health conditions
Medications: Certain medications can reduce painful symptoms and improve blood flow throughout the body. If you are prescribed medications, it is important to take them exactly as instructed.
Medical procedures: After assessing your individual condition, your doctor may recommend a procedure to open up severely narrowed or blocked arteries. The good news is that surgery can often be avoided due to a range of available outpatient, minimally invasive PAD treatment options.
To help you alleviate painful symptoms, avoid dangerous complications, and keep your PAD from getting worse, be sure to follow your recommended peripheral artery disease care plan.
Immediately Following PAD Treatment
If your doctor recommends a medical procedure, your discharge instructions may involve limitations on activity, diet and medications, bathing, and dressing in the days following. We also want you to keep an eye out for warning signs of potential complications.
The day after your treatment, light activity is allowed. The second day after, you can resume most of your usual activities. You can also return to work unless otherwise instructed. However, we ask that you avoid heavy lifting, strenuous activity, and strenuous exercise of excessive bending at the groin for two days.
Diet and Medications
Unless otherwise instructed, you can resume your usual diet and medications upon discharge. We also recommend increasing your fluid intake. However, if you have kidney disease or congestive heart failure, be sure to check with your primary doctor first.
You will be able to shower the day after treatment. After showering, gently pat the area dry around the puncture site and apply a clean bandage. We ask that you avoid immersing your body in a tub or Jacuzzi bath for 10 days.
Keep the treated area clean, dry, and covered with a bandage until the area is fully healed.
Although complications are rare, it is important to keep an eye out for their warning signs. If you experience any of the following symptoms, contact your vascular specialist immediately:
- Pain, numbness, coolness, or weakness in your leg
- Redness, swelling, or bleeding at the puncture site
- Bloody drainage that leaks around or soaks through your bandage or dressing
- Green or yellow drainage from the puncture site
- Temperature higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit
You can call us any time of the day or night at 888.773.2193, or go to the nearest emergency room.
Post-PAD Treatment Lifestyle Changes
When it comes to post-treatment peripheral artery disease care, your vascular specialist can help identify potentially beneficial lifestyle improvements. For example, we may advise you to eat differently, exercise more, or quit smoking. If you need additional resources to improve your health and achieve recommended changes, we want you to know that we are available to guide you every step of the way.
Diet & Nutrition Changes for PAD
Eating a healthy, well-rounded diet and maintaining a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) are two essential components of peripheral artery disease care. The first step to eating well is selecting healthy foods to eat.
- A variety of fresh fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Lean proteins and fatty fish
- Low-fat dairy products
- Healthy fats like olive oil, avocado, nuts, and seeds
Unhealthy substances to avoid include:
- Saturated fats
- Added sugars
If you need help developing a post-PAD treatment diet plan, ask your doctor for a referral to a registered dietician. If you need extra support losing weight, you may benefit from the services of a medical weight loss center.
Physical Exercise for PAD
We recommend regular physical activity to encourage healthy blood flow to your legs. We suggest aiming for at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, five days a week. You may benefit from low-impact cardiovascular activities like walking, biking, and swimming.
Some helpful exercise tips:
- Choose an activity that you enjoy
- Schedule physical activity into your day
- Work out first thing in the morning for consistency
- Start out slowly and build up your endurance over time
Finally, always remember to consult your doctor before starting any new exercise program.
Things to Avoid When Treating & Preventing PAD
Along with the lifestyle changes discussed above, quitting smoking can help prevent the progression of peripheral artery disease. For professional support, ask your doctor about effective smoking cessation programs.
Post-PAD-Treatment Guidelines: Action Plan for After PAD Treatment Procedures
If you have undergone PAD treatments like angioplasty, stent placement, or atherectomy, it is important to follow your doctor’s recommendations to improve your vascular health. By doing so, you can keep your symptoms at bay and reduce your risks for heart attack, stroke, and limb amputation.
It is also important to take care of other underlying health problems, like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Our doctors will work out a personalized plan with you to help manage these known risk factors for PAD.
Our vascular specialists may recommend making some of the above lifestyle modifications and/or taking prescribed medications that aim to keep your blood flowing properly.
With the recommended lifestyle changes for PAD in place, we are confident that you can achieve our primary treatment goal of an improved quality of life.
Schedule a Consultation With USA Vascular Today
When you are in need of peripheral artery disease care, turn to our experts for help. We encourage patients to reach out to us with questions about ongoing care or new symptoms that may arise. Our experienced doctors are dedicated to providing quality vascular care that can get you back to the life you love.
To schedule an initial appointment or ongoing care, just call 888.773.2193 or use our convenient online scheduling form. We offer state-of-the-art treatment in over 40 locations nationwide, along with telemedicine options.
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