Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
With PAD, arteries in your legs become narrowed. This can cause blood flow to the legs and feet to be reduced or even blocked. Without a supply of oxygen-rich blood, body tissues below the blockage can become damaged.
PAD may not cause any symptoms at first. But as it gets worse, PAD can cause cramping or aching in your buttocks, thighs, or calves after a short walk. The pain, called claudication, goes away when you rest, but returns when you move again.
PAD cannot be cured, but sometimes it can be controlled with treatment that includes:
- Lifestyle changes, especially quitting smoking
- Exercising daily
- Managing health problems, such as diabetes
Endovascular Surgical Procedures for PAD
For a severely narrowed artery or a short blockage, endovascular procedures may be used. These are done through small punctures rather than full incisions, resulting in:
- Faster recovery
- Fewer complications
Endovascular procedures include angioplasty and stenting. Both use catheters (thin tubes) to reach blockages in your arteries.
- Angioplasty uses a tiny balloon to open blocked arteries.
- Stenting is the insertion of a tiny wire mesh tube into an artery to keep it open.
Bypass Surgery for PAD
Open surgery may be needed for more severe or longer blockages in an artery. A bypass reroutes blood flow around a blockage using a graft (tube). The graft can be a blood vessel from your own body, or it can be manmade. The blocked section of artery is usually not removed.
Click here to view a brochure on Peripheral Artery Disease.