Living with PAD can be painful. Following your treatment plan can go a long way to
reducing your symptoms and helping you regain the freedom you enjoyed before
PAD. There are things you can do daily, in addition to your treatment plan, that will
help you further reduce your pain and prevent long-term complications.
Take special care of your legs and feet each day. Make sure to keep them clean and
Reduced blood flow to the lower legs and feet can make cuts and sores slow to heal
and eventually, if untreated, these minor sores can become serious complications.
Check your feet daily for sores or injuries and treat them right away. Contact your
healthcare provider if a cut does not seem to be healing.
Keep your toenails trimmed. Wear properly fitting footwear at all times. That includes
Every day work to improve your circulation. Get up and move. Leave your work desk
and walk around the office often. On long flights, walk the aisles.
Your healthcare provider may recommend you wear compression stockings daily.
Make sure they fit properly and follow your healthcare provider’s instructions for safe
Maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, losing even 5 to 10 percent of your
body weight can help reduce the symptoms of PAD, help prevent the long-term
complications of PAD and benefit your overall health in the future. Work with your
healthcare provider to lose weight safely.
And meet with your healthcare provider on a regular basis to ensure your medications
are working to improve your health and reduce your symptoms.
To properly monitor the progression of PAD, your healthcare provider may perform
an ankle brachial test periodically. Based on these results and other tests, your
medications may need to be adjusted.
Make sure to attend all of your scheduled appointments, get your blood work done
regularly, and monitor your progress.
For some patients, your healthcare provider may recommend a procedure to help
widen the arteries and restore blood flow.
“They found out that my arteries were all clogged up in my legs. So what they
suggested on doing was to do angioplasty to try to put a stent in my right leg
One procedure is called angioplasty. It involves inserting a tiny balloon into the
blocked artery, and inflating it. The balloon presses the plaque against the artery walls,
widening the artery so that blood flows easily again. The balloon is then removed.
During this procedure, a small metal device called a stent may be inserted. This stent
will stay in place permanently, acting like a scaffold to keep the artery propped open,
reducing the risk that it will narrow again.
Femoral artery bypass surgery is another procedure that may be recommended. Here,
a healthy vessel taken from the leg or arm, or an artificial vessel, is grafted onto the
artery above and below the narrowed or blocked portion. This new pathway bypasses
the blockage, restoring blood flow to that part of the body.
Whatever treatment you and your healthcare provider decide is best for you, it is time
to take PAD seriously. Find ways every day to reduce your symptoms and prevent
long-term complications. Eventually, you will be able to do many of the activities you
once enjoyed living with PAD.