Is There a Cure?
There is no cure for PAD. Making lifestyle changes may help reduce the progression of the disease2.
Lifestyle changes can reduce risk factors of PAD. The following lifestyle changes can help manage PAD2.
- Quit Smoking1-2,5
- Balanced diet high in fiber,2,5 low in cholesterol, fat1-2,5 and sodium2.
- Exercise such as walking can aid in the treatment of PAD2,5. Patients who walk may have improved circulation1, which may be able to increase "pain -free walking distances"5
- Manage other health conditions2 such as high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol1-2,5
- Taking care of the feet and skin including wearing shoes that fit and attempting to prevent infections 1-2
In addition to lifestyle changes, medical management may be suggested to help treat PAD. Medications may be used to reduce high blood pressure, improve leg pain, prevent blood from clotting and lower cholesterol1-2,5.
An angioplasty is performed when the physician inserts and inflates a balloon to widen a narrowed or blocked blood vessel34 (Figure 1).
A stent is sometimes used in conjunction with an angioplasty. A tiny metal stent is placed around the balloon. After the balloon is inflated enough to open the artery, the balloon is deflated and a metal stent is left in place to keep the artery open34 (Figure 2).
Atherectomy is a procedure where a specialized catheter containing a rotating blade or laser is placed into a blocked artery to remove a buildup of plaque from within the vessel. The procedure is commonly used when angioplasty and stenting cannot be performed due to hard blockages in the arterial walls35.
Bypass is surgery used to reroute blood flow around a blocked artery. The surgeon will remove the blocked portion of an artery or will bypass the blocked section and replace this section with a synthetic graft or blood vessel from another part of the body36.
Gene and Stem Cell Therapy
Several researchers are studying the effects of gene and stem cell therapy for CLI4. These procedures are currently only available through Clinical Trials in the United States.