Treatment for peripheral arterial disease (PAD) focuses on reducing symptoms and preventing further progression of the disease.
Treatment is based on your signs and symptoms, risk factors, and the results of physical exams and tests. In some cases, lifestyle changes, exercise and claudication medications are enough to slow the progression or even reverse the symptoms of PAD.
Treatment may slow or stop the progression of the disease and reduce the risk of complications. However, without treatment, PAD may result in serious tissue damage, severe leg pain, amputation, and even death. This is why it is imperative to see a doctor immediately if you feel you may have PAD.
Medication Treatments for Peripheral Artery Disease
- Cholesterol-lowering medications. You may take a cholesterol-lowering drug such as a Statin to reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. It is especially critical to lower your cholesterol if you have additional major risk factors for heart attack and stroke, especially diabetes or continued smoking.
- High blood pressure medications. Researchers have identified a drug—which is typically used to treat patients with high blood pressure—that may help greatly improve walking ability in patients with PAD. The drug, ramipril (Altace), is an ACE inhibitor, which helps relax blood vessels and lower blood pressure.
- Medication to control blood sugar. If you have diabetes, it becomes even more important to control your blood sugar (glucose) levels. Talk with your doctor about what your blood sugar goals are and what steps you need to take to achieve them.
- Medications to prevent blood clots. Because peripheral artery disease is related to reduced blood flow to your limbs, it’s important to improve the flow. Your doctor may prescribe daily aspirin therapy or another medication such as clopidogrel (Plavix).
- Symptom-relief medications. The drug cilostazol (Pletal) increases blood flow to the limbs both by keeping the blood thin and by widening the blood vessels. It is sometimes used to treat symptoms of claudication (leg pain) for people who have peripheral artery disease.
For More Serious Cases of Peripheral Artery Disease
If your PAD worsens your doctor may recommend:
- Angioplasty: A minimally invasive procedure where a balloon is inflated inside a blocked artery to restore blood flow.
- Stent: A minimally invasive procedure where a tiny tube is placed in the artery to keep it open.
- Atherectomy: A minimally invasive endovascular surgery technique for removing atherosclerotic plaque from blood vessels within the body.
- Bypass Surgery: A surgical procedure that uses a blood vessel or synthetic tube to bypass blockages in the artery.
Contact Us for Treatment Options for Peripheral Artery Disease
If you have Peripheral Artery Disease or you identify with any symptom(s) don’t delay, contact Alabama Vascular & Lymphatic Specialists today. Your life may depend on it.
We provide the most comprehensive, progressive, and personal care available for Peripheral Artery Disease in the Birmingham, Alabama area. During your visit our specialist(s) will review your medical history and develop a treatment plan to get you on the path to better health.