When it comes to treating PAD, there are several treatment options available. Dedicate yourself to loving your limbs and follow your physician’s treatment plan. Your treatment options may vary greatly depending on your condition and may include one or more of the following categories. Keep in mind, risks are involved with all PAD treatments and should be discussed with your physician.


Your physician may prescribe medications depending on the cause of your PAD. These may include medications to help reduce your cholesterol, lower your blood pressure, manage your diabetes, or help you stop smoking. You may also be prescribed anti-platelet or anti-coagulant medication if your physician is concerned about the potential of blood clots. The classes of prescription medications may include:


  • Blood Thinners
  • Vasodilators to open blood vessels
  • Statins to reduce levels of fats, including triglycerides and cholesterol in the blood

Endovascular Treatments

Endovascular treatments are one of the options available for treating PAD. An endovascular treatment is completed in an operating room or a catheterization lab. Unlike surgery, endovascular treatments only require a small incision often in the groin, arm, or leg. A physician will then pass a series of devices through the incision and into the artery, in order to reach the site of the blockage. These devices all work to help open the artery and keep it open.


  • Angioplasty—An angioplasty is a common technique for opening a narrowed vessel. During an angioplasty, a small balloon is inflated in a narrowed vessel.
  • Drug Coated Balloon—This treatment uses a drug-coated balloon to open a blocked vessel. The balloon opens the blockage and simultaneously delivers a therapeutic dose of drug to help keep the vessel open.
  • Stenting—A stent is a small wire mesh tube that is placed in the vessel and remains in the body after the procedure to keep the blood vessel open.
  • Atherectomy—Atherectomy reduces plaque buildup in large vessels by using a small mechanical device to remove the plaque. It can be especially useful for removing plaque buildup that is not easily treated by other methods.

Surgical Options

For those who can’t be treated by medication or endovascular treatments, there are surgical options available. These procedures typically require general anesthesia due to incisions in the limbs. Generally, a surgeon will conduct an assessment of the risks and benefits prior to the procedure to ensure the best possible outcome following the operation.


  • Lower Extremity Bypass—The goal of this treatment is to re-direct blood flow in the artery. The physician will make a surgical incision near the blocked artery and re-route blood flow by attaching an artificial graft, or one of your own veins, above and below the blockage. This allows the blood to bypass, or go around, the diseased part of the artery.
  • Iliofemoral Endarterectomy—An iliofemoral endarterectomy is performed to remove plaque from blood vessels. The physician will make an incision at the site of the blockage, and insert a shunt, or tube, into the artery above and below the plaque in order to temporarily re-route blood flow. The physician will then make an incision along the artery containing the plaque. The plaque is then removed. Once removal is complete, the vessel is stitched shut.

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