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PAD Treatment Approaches
- Exercise Training: With peripheral arterial disease (PAD), muscles receive only limited amounts of oxygen due to impaired circulation. Over time, a regular exercise regimen can train muscles to use lower levels of oxygen more efficiently, gradually allowing the patient to walk further and further without pain.
- Drug Therapy: Certain medications, in combination with exercise, can improve the discomfort experienced by patients with claudication (pain and cramping that leads to limping). Our board-certified vascular specialists coordinate this drug therapy with patients' other medications to avoiding contraindications.
- Balloon Angioplasty With or Without Stent Placement: In balloon angioplasty, a small balloon attached to a catheter (thin, flexible tube) is inserted into a blood vessel. Under X-ray guidance, surgeons direct the catheter to the site of the blocked artery, where the balloon inflates, opening the vessel. Depending on the condition of the artery, a stent (small metal scaffold or tube) may be inserted to keep the artery open.
- Surgical Revascularization: If severe blockages are present in several leg arteries, balloon angioplasty and stent placement may not sufficiently restore circulation. In such cases, revascularization by surgical bypass is frequently the treatment of choice. The procedure usually involves removing a vein from the patient's leg and using it to route blood flow around the blocked artery segments.