Reclaiming mobility: effective treatment strategies for PAD

Published On: October, 11, 2023

Reclaiming mobility: effective treatment strategies for PAD

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) can be a challenging condition, but with the right approach to treatment, you can regain control of your life. The goals of PAD treatment are to manage symptoms, such as leg pain, and halt the progression of atherosclerosis, which reduces the risk of life-threatening events like stroke and heart attacks. In this blog post, we’ll explore various treatment options for PAD, ranging from lifestyle changes to minimally invasive procedures.

Lifestyle Changes: The Foundation of PAD Management

Before diving into specific treatment options, it’s crucial to emphasize the importance of lifestyle changes. Early intervention through lifestyle modifications can be highly effective in achieving the goals of PAD treatment. Here are key steps:

  • Quit Smoking: One of the most significant actions you can take to halt the progression of PAD is quitting smoking. Smoking damages your blood vessels, exacerbating the condition.
  • Regular Exercise: Engaging in a routine of walking and supervised exercise training can substantially improve your PAD symptoms. Exercise promotes better circulation and overall vascular health.

Minimally Invasive Procedures for Advanced PAD

If your PAD has advanced to a stage where lifestyle changes alone are insufficient, medical interventions may be necessary. Several minimally invasive procedures are available to address severe PAD:

  1. Atherectomy

Atherectomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure designed to remove plaque from the arteries. During the procedure, a catheter is inserted through a small incision in the artery. The catheter has a chamber at its tip to collect the removed plaque, ensuring thorough cleansing of the artery. This procedure is typically performed under local anesthesia to minimize discomfort. Depending on the extent of plaque buildup, your doctor may need to repeat the atherectomy several times to optimize blood flow.

  1. Angioplasty (Percutaneous Transluminal Angioplasty – PTA)

Angioplasty is another minimally invasive procedure performed using a catheter. This thin, flexible tube is guided by imaging to the narrowed section of the artery. Once in position, the catheter inflates a small balloon at its tip for a brief period. The inflation of the balloon exerts pressure on the plaque, pushing it against the artery wall. This action widens the arteries, restoring normal blood flow.

  1. Stenting

Stenting is often performed in conjunction with angioplasty and atherectomy. Over time, the buildup of plaque can damage artery walls, leaving them weak and prone to collapse even after plaque removal. Stenting involves placing a small mesh tube inside the artery to provide essential support. This tube acts as a scaffold, ensuring the artery remains open and allowing for optimal blood flow.

Managing PAD involves a multi-faceted approach, beginning with lifestyle changes and progressing to minimally invasive procedures when necessary. Quitting smoking and regular exercise are fundamental steps in controlling symptoms and slowing the progression of atherosclerosis. If your condition has advanced, medical interventions like atherectomy, angioplasty, and stenting can provide relief and enhance your vascular health.

Consult with your healthcare provider to determine the most suitable treatment plan for your specific PAD condition. With the right approach, you can manage PAD effectively, reduce symptoms, and lower the risk of serious cardiovascular events.

“Bringing Experts Together for Unparalleled Vein and Vascular Care”

La Jolla Vein & Vascular (formerly La Jolla Vein Care) is committed to bringing experts together for unparalleled vein and vascular care. 

Nisha Bunke, MD, Sarah Lucas, MD, and Amanda Steinberger, MD are specialists who combine their experience and expertise to offer world-class vascular care. 

Our accredited center is also a nationally known teaching site and center of excellence. 

For more information on treatments and to book a consultation, please give our office a call at 858-550-0330. 

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