Peripheral Artery Disease Treatment

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) may first present itself as a tired or weak feeling in the legs when walking. This symptom is known as claudication and is the result of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

Over the years, plaque builds up in the walls of your arteries, which causes the arteries to narrow and stiffen. For some people, the plaque builds up to the point that blood flow is reduced to the leg arteries — because of this, your blood vessels aren’t able to supply your organs and muscles with the oxygen they need to function properly.

Although PAD most commonly affects the legs, it can also affect the arms and other parts of the body. It is associated with high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

One of the earliest symptoms of PAD may be claudication. However, as the disease progresses, it can cause painful foot ulcers, infections and gangrene — on rare occasions, gangrene can result in amputation. PAD can also be an indicator of other vascular problems.

Treatment plans for PAD patients are based upon the severity of the condition. For some people, a physician may recommend increased exercise, nutritional modifications and smoking cessation — these lifestyle changes may help manage your PAD risk factors of high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol levels. In addition, if you are a diabetic, it is important to get regular checkups and care.

Other patients require surgical treatment known as a bypass. Your surgeon creates a new pathway around the affected area allowing blood to flow freely again. This is done by attaching a graft (flexible synthetic tube) above and below the blockage.

Patients at a high risk for PAD can be screened using noninvasive duplex ultrasound. For more information, visit


* Disclaimer: The information contained in this site is for informational purposes only. It does not take the place of, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for individual medical advice, diagnosis or treatment from your physician.

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  • Keywords


    As plaque continues to build, the arteries narrow and harden, reducing blood flow.


    Tightness or squeezing pain that occurs in the foot, calf, thigh or buttock that occurs during walking.


    The death of body tissue due to the loss of blood supply.

    Peripheral Artery Disease

    Hardening and narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the arms, legs and other parts of the body. It most commonly occurs in the legs.


    The sticky material consisting of cholesterol, white blood cells, fat, calcium and other substances. Blood clots can develop from this plaque, which is why it is critical to manage cholesterol level.


    Area in which the tissue erodes - in this case, the skin.