Understanding peripheral artery disease, including its risk factors and treatment

Shot of a mature doctor examining his patient who is concerned about his knee

Peripheral artery disease is a severe medical condition that can be painful and result in severe complications like amputation. Therefore, if you are diagnosed with any peripheral artery disease, you are required to seek consultation early enough to help your specialist find these complications on time. The Plano peripheral artery disease specialists have learned how this condition could negatively affect your life and hence offer innovative treatments to help lower your complications and risks. In case your significant blood vessels pass through the whole cardiovascular system, reach out to an experienced cardiologist.

What is peripheral artery disease?

Peripheral artery disease is an illness that occurs when plaque accumulates in your arteries leading to reduced blood circulation. Therefore, peripheral artery disease typically restricts blood flow to your lower extremities, even though this condition can affect arteries on any part of your body. Due to reduced blood circulation, you might experience leg pain with exertion or rest. At times you can also experience cramping, discolored skin, dry skin, aching pain, wounds that won’t heal quickly, and a feeling of heaviness, cold, numbness, or weakness in your legs.

What are the risk factors for peripheral disease?

Some risk factors are high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, tobacco use, being above 50 years, and heart disease. It can also cause leg and foot sores. And if these sores are left untreated, they might get infected and lead to leg amputation or severe limb ischemia. This condition is also accompanied by an increased risk of heart disease and reduced blood flow to your heart, leading to heart attacks and Angina.

What are the treatments for peripheral artery disease?

The care provider offers customized treatment plans and various effective treatments for peripheral artery disease, including supervised walking therapy, medications, minimally invasive procedures to help open up blocked arteries, physical rehabilitation, and lifestyle changes like exercise and diet. It is also essential to understand that before treatment, the doctor starts by assessing your condition based on your family history, symptoms, and medical history, among many factors. He begins by inquiring more about your lifestyle, particularly concerning your lifestyle, including exercise and diet. He also makes use of other treatments when need be. Generally, a healthy lifestyle that incorporates regular exercise, stress relief, and a nutrient-dense diet can help prevent and manage peripheral artery disease.

A minimally invasive treatment can be performed to restore blood flow to the legs, thus preventing feet or leg amputation.  However, if a minimally invasive procedure is completed, you can be discharged home on the same day; hence won’t affect your busy schedule. Some of the effective minimally invasive treatments include:

  • Stent- it involves the use of a metal scaffold to keep an artery open.
  • Atherectomy- it involves the removal of a plague from your artery to allow sufficient blood flow.
  • Balloon angioplasty- balloon angioplasty involves the insertion of a tiny tube into your blood vessel to help flatten the blockage and increase the flow of blood.

Suppose you are having peripheral artery disease symptoms and want to prevent your leg or foot amputation, call Prime Heart and Vascular today.