Treatment Options for Leg and Kidney Blockages (PAD)
Treatment options are available to help prevent or slow the development of blockages to the legs and kidneys caused by atherosclerosis. Successful treatment of peripheral artery disease (PAD) can make a significant difference in your life by
- reducing your risk of heart attack and stroke
- reducing your risk of high blood pressure and possible kidney failure
- providing relief from pain and other symptoms that have been preventing you from doing the many things you used to enjoy
- saving your legs and feet from serious infection, gangrene, and amputation
Your physician will consider the full spectrum of options in deciding what is best for you. The earlier PAD is diagnosed and the sooner treatment begins, the better your prospects for slowing its progress.
Spectrum of Care
The type of treatment you receive for PAD, as with cardiovascular disease in general, depends on your personal circumstances, the extent of disability and risk, and the nature of the problem.
If you have blockages in your arteries, your physician will assess the severity of your cardiovascular disease and where you best fit among a range of treatment options – sometimes referred to as the spectrum of care. The spectrum of care options for cardiovascular disease consist of a combination of treatments including –
- Lifestyle changes
- Revascularization, or treatment to re-establish blood flow through a narrowed artery. Options for revascularization include:
- Angioplasty and stenting and other interventional procedures
- Bypass surgery
Some patients may be at the beginning stages of cardiovascular disease. In this case, changing lifestyle elements such as diet and exercise might be enough to get you back on track for good health. For other patients, medication in addition to lifestyle changes can slow or reverse the progress of cardiovascular disease. However, if the arteries that carry blood to your legs or kidneys become so clogged and narrowed that blood flow is restricted or blocked and cannot supply enough oxygen to your muscles and other organs, your physician may recommend an endovascular or surgical procedure to restore blood flow to the muscles.
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Dr. Sahil A. Parikh describes some of the most commonly prescribed medications for PAD.