Fortunately there are several procedures that have been developed in order to treat PAD. Whether it is through medicine, exercise, or physically operating on the diseased artery, there are number of possibilities to consider.
It is possible to alleviate pain associated with PAD through the use of medications, as well as lowering cholesterol, and blood pressure. By using medicine to control the risk factors, it is possible to alleviate some of the symptoms associated with PAD. For some, this is enough to fight off the symptoms. For others, it is necessary to go a step further because the symptoms are too severe.
Using wires and tubes, the physician enters into the system of blood vessels and arteries (usually through the groin area). Using fluoroscopic imaging, the physician guides the wire to the problematic area. Upon reaching the area, there are several options to proceed with treatment:
- A machine can be used to cut away at the plaque.
- Small balloons can be inflated, returing the artery to its normal shape.
- Stents, which are hollow metal tubes, can be inserted into the artery.
Occasionally, the arteries are so damaged that it is impossible to remove the plaque with stents, balloons, and cutting devices. In these cases, it is possible to undergo a surgery in which the arteries are literally re-routed. New channels are created for the blood to flow, bypassing the diseased segments.