Taking Control of Peripheral Artery Disease (P.A.D.)
Manage Your Risk Factors
“One of the deadliest diseases you’ve never heard of” is how the Cleveland Clinic describes Peripheral Artery Disease (P.A.D.). The good news is that even though P.A.D. is a serious condition, it can be managed and treated when it is detected in the early stages.
What is P.A.D. and why is it one of the deadliest diseases?
A blocked artery in the lower extremities causes P.A.D. The blockage, or hardening of the artery, prevents normal blood flow from reaching other parts of the body, which can lead to amputation, stroke, or even death. For many, the symptoms build up over a lifetime and may not become obvious until later in life. For others, P.A.D. symptoms, the most common being leg pain, are often underdiagnosed and undertreated. It is in these situations, where symptoms are ignored or misdiagnosed, that P.A.D can lead to serious medical complications.
What steps can you take to lower your risk and manage your P.A.D. symptoms?
- Quit smoking. Smoking significantly increases the formation of plaque in arteries and is one of the leading risk factors for P.A.D.
- Eat a balanced diet. A healthy diet helps maintain or improve overall health.
- Exercise regularly. Walking is the simplest form of exercise and the benefits are life changing.
- Manage other health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol.
- Practice good foot care. Checking your feet every day is especially important for diabetics and those with poor circulation to their feet.
P.A.D. is a lifelong disease that requires lifelong care, and vascular surgeons are the only specialists who are able to treat the entire spectrum of this chronic disease that affects so many in our community.
Treatment options are based on the progression of the disease and, more often than not, only requires that patients make simple lifestyle changes and medical management to slow the disease process. For those who have more severe blockages, a minimally invasive endovascular procedure or open bypass surgery may be necessary. Recent advancements allow for a hybrid procedure that includes both endovascular and open bypass to help restore blood flow.
The key in managing and treating P.A.D. is restoring normal blood flow, which delivers life-saving oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Despite the treatment option needed, vascular surgeons are specifically trained to treat all forms of PAD and are the only physicians that can offer all available treatment options to the patient.
For more information on how to prevent or manage P.A.D. visit www.PVAsatx.com or call 210.237.4444.