Developing an individualized plan to manage a common vascular disease
Expert Heart & Vascular Care
Getting the care you need starts with seeing one of our heart or vascular specialists.
Treatment of peripheral artery disease (PAD) depends on the cause. The most common cause is atherosclerosis, a condition in which the arteries become narrow because of a buildup of fatty deposits called plaque.
The experts in our Vascular and Endovascular Program are recognized leaders in the treatment of PAD, also known as peripheral vascular disease. They will work with you to develop an individualized plan to manage and treat the condition so you can return to your daily activities and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
There is no cure for PAD, but we can help you manage your symptoms and reduce the progression of the disease. Treatment options include lifestyle changes such as exercising and quitting smoking, taking medication or more advanced procedures such as angioplasty or surgery.
Lifestyle changes and medication
If you smoke, the most important step you can take to reduce the risk of complications from PAD is to quit smoking. You also may be able to manage the symptoms of PAD and halt the progression of the disease by exercising, eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight.
If lifestyle changes aren’t enough, your doctor may prescribe medication to prevent blood clots or lower your blood pressure or cholesterol. If a blood clot is blocking an artery, you doctor may recommend thrombolysis, which involves using a clot-busting drug to break up the clot.
Minimally invasive and surgical options for PAD
In some cases, you may need more than lifestyle changes and medication to treat your PAD. Your options will depend on your unique situation but may include:
- Angioplasty: Using a thin, flexible tube called a catheter, the doctor will guide a small balloon to the blocked vessel and inflate the balloon to open the vessel.
- Bypass: A vessel taken from another part of the body or a synthetic vessel is surgically connected above and below the blockage. This creates a new pathway for your blood to travel.
- Stenting: A catheter is used to place a wire mesh tube within a narrow artery to support the artery walls and keep it open.
- Surgery: The blocked artery can be cleared by creating an incision in the artery and removing the plaque buildup.
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) occurs when blood flow to the arms and legs is reduced due to narrowed or blocked arteries.
An angiogram is a special X-ray taken as a special dye is injected through a thin, flexible tube called a catheter to detect blockages or aneurysms in blood vessels.
Arterial duplex ultrasound uses Doppler and traditional ultrasound to assess blood flow in the arteries of your arms and legs.
Pulse volume recording tests are used to evaluate blood flow through the arteries in your arms or legs.