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Peripheral Vascular Disease Treatment Information
For patients with moderate peripheral vascular disease, also called peripheral arterial disease, treatment may include lifestyle changes. Many lifestyle choices that prevent peripheral vascular disease also reduce the severity of the condition. Eat healthy, exercise, lose weight, quit smoking and manage conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure to lower your risk for peripheral vascular disease.
If plaque build-up is too great, you may need a cardiac catheterization, a minimally invasive procedure. During catheterization, the artery may be widened, the blockage may be removed or a stent, a mesh wire tube, may be placed to keep the artery open. These procedures pose few risks and have a quick recovery time.
In more severe cases, you undergo surgery to allow the blood to bypass the affected area. These surgeries have longer recovery times and more risks, but still offer relief from the complications of peripheral vascular disease.
IU Health Heart & Vascular Care physicians provide the following services to diagnose and treat peripheral vascular disease:
- Ankle-brachial index. By measuring pulses at various points in the legs, our physicians determine if blood flow is being blocked.
- Ultrasound. Ultrasound is a noninvasive, no radiation imaging technique that allows physicians to look at the blood flow in the legs.
- Education. Our physicians teach you how to make lifestyle changes to improve your condition and reduce leg pain, such as exercising, eating well and quitting smoking.
- Medication therapies. Medications that keep blood from clotting keep peripheral vascular disease from worsening.
- Balloon angioplasty. During this minimally invasive procedure, a small balloon is guided through the arteries into the blocked area. The balloon is then inflated, widening the artery and increasing blood flow.
- Stent placement. A stent is a wire mesh tube that keeps arteries open. A stent is placed through the artery using a small incision.
- Vascular surgery. Vascular surgery is used to bypass the blockage using a vein from another part of the body. The vein is grafted to the affected area, directing blood around the blockage.
Peripheral Vascular Disease Locations & Physicians
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Peripheral Vascular Disease Support Services
Learn more about managing your heart health and peripheral vascular disease at the following websites.
A Sampling of Peripheral Vascular Disease Support Services
American Heart Association
This website hosts a variety of information on prevention, treatment and risk factors for peripheral vascular disease.
Vascular Disease Foundation
This website features resources and support for people with vascular disease.
National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute
This website provides information on living with peripheral vascular disease, including its causes and treatments.