Peripheral artery disease which is also referred to as peripheral arterial disease may be a circulatory downside within which narrowed arteries scale back blood flow to your limbs. Once you develop peripheral artery disease, your extreme parts like your legs, do not get enough blood flow to stay up with requirement. This section of the article will discuss about the treatment for peripheral artery disease including medications, surgery, supervised exercise program, risk factors and complications in peripheral artery disease.

What is the Treatment for Peripheral Artery Disease?

Treatment for peripheral artery disease focuses on reducing the leg pain so that the patient can continue the normal physical routine. The second line of the treatment for peripheral artery disease is used to prevent the occurrence of the heart strokes. It is vital to leave the smoking habit to reduce the risk of peripheral artery disease complications.

What is the Treatment for Peripheral Artery Disease

Lifestyle changes like regular exercising can play a major part in treating peripheral artery disease. If lifestyle changes are not enough, you need additional medical treatment. Your doctor may prescribe medicine to put a stop to blood clots, lower down the blood pressure level and cholesterol, and control pain and other symptoms.

  1. Medications for Treating Peripheral Artery Disease

    Below are some of the medicines that can help in treating peripheral artery disease:

    • Cholesterol-lowering medications for peripheral artery disease: Statin medicines is used to lower the cholesterol level in the blood. It is used to eliminate the instances of heart attacks in an impeccable manner. The treatment focuses on the reduction of the bad cholesterol level which belongs to the category of low-density protein. Diabetic and smokers are at an increased risk of heart disease.
    • High BP (Blood Pressure) medications for treating peripheral artery disease: The doctor provides medicines that help to decrease the upper and the lower limit of the blood pressure to 140mm of Hg and 90mm of Hg. A diabetic individual should have the blood pressure of 130/ 80mm Hg.
    • Medications to control blood sugar to treat peripheral artery disease: People suffering from diabetes should make sure to reduce the glucose level in the blood in close cooperation with the doctor.
    • Medications to prevent blood clots to treat peripheral artery disease: To treat peripheral artery disease, it is vital for the physician to eliminate the blood clots. The activity is necessary to ensure the optimum blood supply to the lower limbs. Aspirin therapy goes a long way in preventing the narrowing of the blood vessel. One of the most common medicines includes clopidogrel. Because peripheral artery disease is the reason of not getting appropriate amount of blood flow by your limbs, it is important to reduce the risk of blood clots
    • Symptom relief medications for peripheral artery disease: The drug cilostazol (Pletal) plays a very important role in enhancing seamless blood supply to all the organs of the body. It improves the flow of blood to the limbs both by averting blood clots and by opening up the blood vessels. The symptoms of the disease are treated in an effective manner. Some of the side effects include diarrhea along with a headache. Usual side effects of this medicine are diarrhea and headache. Pentoxifylline (Trental) can also be used but it does not have the same effect.
  2. Surgery for Peripheral Artery Disease

    Surgery for peripheral artery disease is recommended by specialists when the medication treatment is not effective and considering many factors such as other diseases, age of the patient etc…

    Bypass Grafting Surgery for Peripheral Artery Disease

    Your doctor may recommend bypass grafting surgery for peripheral artery disease if your limbs are not getting blood at all or it is about to be blocked. For this surgery, your doctor uses a blood vessel from another part of your body or a synthetic tube to make a graft. One of the most important benefits of bypass grafting is the enhanced blood flow to eliminate the instances of the blockage. The blood would circumvent the clot and help the limb wounds to heal quickly.

    Angioplasty and Stent Placement for Peripheral Artery Disease

    Angioplasty is the best method to remove the congestion in the arteries without any hassles in peripheral artery disease. The catheter transfixed with a balloon is introduced into the artery and the balloon is pumped with air to push out the plaque deposited in the wall of the artery. It goes a long way in enhancing the blood flow to the optimum limit. While the angioplasty for peripheral artery disease is carried out, a stent is inserted into the artery. It plays an important role in opening the passage and unblocking the arteries.

    Atherectomy for Treating Peripheral Artery Disease

    Artherectomy for peripheral artery disease is a process through which the residual plaque is removed from the clogged arteries. Catheter with cutting device can easily destroy the plaque in and easy and hassle free manner. Plaques that are cut move into the blood stream if they are in small pieces. Laser technique is also used to accomplish the task and it is one of the best noninvasive methods.

  3. Supervised Exercise Program for Peripheral Artery Disease

    Along with surgery and medicines the specialist might recommend exercise program for peripheral artery disease. The doctor might also recommend exercises that would help the patient to walk without pain gradually over a period of time. It would help to increase the distance by many notches. Exercises ensure that the body consumes plenty of oxygen to enhance blood supply.

    Exercises play an important role in providing relief to peripheral artery disease patients and the CVD (Cardiovascular disease) patients and reduce its recurrences. The health care institute suggests exercises to cope up with the symptoms of cardiovascular disease. They should be conducted under the guidance of the trainer.

    Exercise needs to be performed on a daily basis or else it might not be beneficial for the patients suffering from peripheral artery disease.

    Individuals should walk for a longer period of time till the pain becomes unbearable. You can take rest till the pain subsides before proceeding with the walking exercises. The process should be repeated alternately as it is beneficial for the body. Total time duration of the walking should be half an hour.

    The majority of people find the physical activity quite challenging as the pain would shoot up dramatically however you need to exercise patience. Over a period of time, one can walk and also feel less pain. Patients have enormously benefitted by exercises with the help of the trainers.

What are the Risk Factors for Peripheral Artery Disease?

A large number of people are suffering from peripheral artery disease in the US however the problem is more noticeable in the black ethnic group. Primary causes are alcohol, smoking and certain types of diseases.

Smoking is found to be the primary risk factor of peripheral artery disease. The disease would not progress rapidly if you leave smoking.

Old age is another risk factor for peripheral artery disease. Peripheral artery disease Is very common in old because plaque develops in arteries as people grow old. Combines with diabetes and smoking the disease could worsen over a period of time. Other reasons that can increase the risk of peripheral artery disease are as follows:

  • High blood sugar level
  • Problem with metabolism
  • Heart disease
  • Increase in fat deposition
  • Frequent increase in blood pressure
  • Individuals suffering from increased level of cholesterol in the blood.
  • Age issues
  • Hereditary problems of artery clogging and diabetes
  • The presence of increased number of homocysteine in the blood.

Smokers and diabetics are vulnerable to peripheral artery disease due to reduced blood flow.

What are the Complications in Peripheral Artery Disease?

If plaque is the major cause for peripheral artery disease in the arteries, there are chances to snowball the disease into the following complications:

  • Critical limb ischemia can be a complication of peripheral artery disease. The disease manifests itself in the form of sores that occurs in the limb and gradually progress over a period of time. If left untreated, it might metamorphose into gangrene resulting in the complete destruction of the tissues. In some cases, the patients got their legs amputated to block the spread of infection.
  • Stroke and heart attack are common complications in peripheral artery disease. Plaque can also deposit in the arteries that connect the heart and the brain. Over a period of time, it could lead to stroke or massive heart attack.

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Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: April 26, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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