Peripheral Vascular Disease

Treatments

The two principal goals of PVD treatment are: first, to reduce or manage pain to resume physical activity; and, second, to stop plaque from continuing to build on arterial walls. Lifestyle changes and cholesterol and blood pressure lowering medications have the potential to make significant strides towards these treatment goals. However, if these measures are not enough, a physician may recommend more aggressive treatment options. Treatment decisions are made following a discussion between patients and their physicians.

Bypass surgery is a surgical procedure that allows blood to flow around, or bypass, the blocked or narrowed artery. Physicians create a graft bypass using a vessel from another area of the body or a synthetic vessel made of fabric.

Endovascular Procedures

An angioplasty is an example of a minimally-invasive, endovascular procedure to open the blocked artery. This procedure involves inserting small, flexible catheters into a blood vessel and guiding them to the blockage. A medical "balloon" is inserted to widen blocked arteries. The balloon presses against the inside wall of the artery to open the space and improve blood flow. A metal stent is often placed across the artery wall to keep the artery from narrowing again.