Medications that lower cholesterol or high blood pressure, improve walking distance (cilostazol), or prevent blood clots, may be prescribed by a physician.
For more severe cases, a physician may recommend other treatment methods such as minimally invasive procedures or surgical procedures, including:
An angioplasty balloon catheter inside an artery.
- Angioplasty and Stenting - During this non-surgical procedure, a balloon attached to a small catheter is inflated within an artery to flatten the plaque against the artery wall, increasing the artery's diameter. In most cases, a stent, a metal-mesh tube, is expanded and left inside the artery to support the expansion and maintain blood flow.
- Thrombolysis - Also called clot-busting therapy, thrombolysis breaks up a blood clot with specialized catheters that either mechanically break up the clot or directly deliver drugs to dissolve blood. This is used when the blockage is caused by a blood clot.
- Thrombectomy - A procedure used when symptoms are caused by a blood clot. In thrombectomy, the physician inserts a balloon catheter past the site of the blood clot, inflates it, and removes the balloon, pulling the clot with it.
- Bypass Surgery - A physician replaces, or bypasses, the blocked artery with a healthy blood vessel harvested from the person or made from a synthetic fabric.
Changes in lifestyle may be enough to slow or stop the progression of PAD for most people. Some of the lifestyle changes that a physician may recommend include:
- Quitting smoking,
- Controlling high blood pressure,
- Lowering cholesterol,
- Losing weight, and
- Controlling diabetes.