Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) is a chronic condition that can be treated but not cured. PVD treatment aims to control symptoms and to prevent disease progression. Your treatment plan twill consider your age, overall health, medical history, disease severity and symptoms. As a general rule, effective treatments include lifestyle modification and risk factor management.
Lifestyle modifications revolve around smoking cessation, regular exercise and proper nutrition. Weight reduction can be achieved with a fruit- and vegetable-rich diet. Alcohol moderation also is important.
Risk factor management addresses existing conditions that aggravate PVD:
- Hypertension or high blood pressure.
- High cholesterol.
Medications prescribed to treat PVD improve blood flow; these include anticoagulants (which prevent blood clots), beta blockers (which slow heart rate and lower pressure), and cilostazol (which relaxes arteries and allows them to enlarge).
Further therapy may include invasive procedures such as angioplasty and bypass surgery.
- During angioplasty, a catheter is guided to the artery where blood flow is blocked. If a balloon angioplasty is performed, a balloon in the catheter will be inflated at the point of blockage, stretching the clogged artery open and flattening plaque to restore blood flow. Balloon angioplasty may be followed by stent placement, in which a wire mesh tube is inserted to keep the blood vessel open.
- Bypass surgery is performed to re-route blood flow so that it travels around a narrowed or blocked area of a blood vessel. In many cases, a blood vessel will be harvested, or grafted, from another part of the body.
A vascular specialist develops the patient’s treatment plan specifically tailored to the individual and their needs.
See our vascular specialists at these locations: