Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is where plaque builds up in your leg arteries. Atherosclerosis is the accumulation of plaque in the arteries. Peripheral artery disease makes plaque, which is made of cholesterol, fat, and other substances, gradually narrow your arteries. You are at higher risk of developing PAD if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, abdominal obesity or use tobacco products. Leg pain called claudication is the first symptom of Warner Robins peripheral artery disease. This pain can affect your hip, thigh, or calf muscle after walking or physical activity. You can also experience leg numbness or weakness, and your lower leg or foot may feel cold. There are various treatments for peripheral artery disease, including:
Your doctor can recommend antiplatelet drugs like aspirin or clopidogrel to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Cilostazol can improve your walking. This drug helps if you have intermittent claudication exercise longer before developing leg pain.
Supervised exercise programs
Your specialist can recommend a supervised exercise program to reduce leg pain and improve your walking distance. The specialist will supervise you as you walk on a treadmill at least three times a week. Ensure you take a walk at home for thirty to sixty minutes daily to improve your symptoms. Exercise programs are suitable if your peripheral artery disease is in its early stages.
Minimally invasive and surgical procedures
If your peripheral artery disease is more advanced, causing severe pain and limited mobility, you may require less invasive or surgical treatments. These treatments include:
Balloon angioplasty involves your doctor passing a miniature balloon through a catheter into the affected arteries. The balloon expands inside your artery, pushing against the plaque and opening up space in it.
Stents are tiny metal support coils that your doctor inserts into the affected arteries through a tiny opening using catheters. The stents expand against the artery wall, supporting and holding it open.
Peripheral artery bypass surgery
Peripheral artery bypass surgery involves your surgeon using a section of your healthy vein or a synthetic replacement to make a bypass for blood flow near the blocked area in the leg artery. Doctors can reverse this treatment for severe PAD.
Atherectomy involves your specialist using a catheter attached to a blade at the end to eliminate plaque accumulating in your artery.
When diagnosed early, lifestyle changes can prevent your peripheral artery disease from getting worse. These lifestyle changes include:
Quitting smoking and using tobacco products can help prevent PAD risk factors. Your healthcare provider can guide you on smoking cessation programs in your community.
Eat a balanced diet
Eat a healthy diet consisting of high fiber, low cholesterol, fat, and sodium. Take at most thirty percent of fat in your total daily calorie and not more than seven percent of saturated fat.
A regular exercise program like walking can help in managing PAD. Exercise will help increase the distance you walk before you experience leg pain.
Peripheral artery disease happens when plaque accumulates in your leg arteries. Medications, lifestyle changes, exercise, and surgical treatments can help treat the condition. Schedule an appointment at Middle Georgia Vascular Surgery Center & Vein Solutions for peripheral artery disease treatment to relieve your leg pain.