Peripheral Arterial Disease | Diagnosis & Treatment Options

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Treatment of Peripheral Arterial Disease

Arteries carry blood rich in oxygen and nutrients from your heart to the rest of your body. When the arteries in your legs become blocked, your legs will not receive enough blood or oxygen, and you may develop a condition called peripheral artery disease (PAD), sometimes called leg artery disease.

PAD can cause discomfort or pain when you walk. The pain can occur in your buttocks, thighs, or calf muscles and is typically brought about by a fairly consistent amount of walking. The pain will usually go away after a few minutes of rest, even if the patient remains standing.

You are more likely to develop PAD as you age. one in three people age 70 or older has PAD. Smoking or having diabetes increases your chances of developing the disease, and at a younger age.

You may feel well and still have PAD or similar blockages in other arteries, such as those leading to the heart or brain. It is important to treat this disease not only because it may place you at a greater risk for limb loss, but also to prevent a heart attack or stroke.

The initial treatment for all patients with PAD includes smoking cessation, as well as gaining control of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. The initiation of a monitored exercise program has also been shown to help increase the pain-free walking distance in patients with blockages in their legs. Cilostazol is a medication that has been found, when used in conjunction with the above mentioned treatments, to also increase pain-free walking distance.

If conservative measures are not successful, then there are many options available for the actual treatment of these blockages. Some of these options are minimally invasive, using devices within the artery to address the blockage, and some treatments require surgery to help improve blood flow to the legs.

At Siragusa Vein and Laser Center, our leading Nashville vascular doctor, Dr. Siragusa, has the experience and skill to detect and diagnose PAD. Our vein treatment center, with locations in Nashville and Hermitage, offers all modalities of treatment, starting with medical management and including both minimally invasive and surgical techniques based on what procedure is best for each individual.