When you have been experiencing pain in your legs or skin problems with your legs, your doctor might diagnose you with peripheral artery occlusive disease (also simply referred to as peripheral artery disease or peripheral vascular disease). However, if you are diagnosed with this disorder, in which you have narrow blood vessels in your legs that affect your circulation and leg health, your next step is to find out your treatment options so that you can begin to improve your situation. Get to know more about a few of these treatment options and get your treatment program started.
Prescription or Over-the-Counter Medications to Thin the Blood
Prescription blood thinners may be one of the first lines of defense when you are suffering from peripheral artery occlusive disease. These medications, like clopidogrel and others, are designed to prevent blood clots.
The purpose of preventing blood clots and thinning out the blood is to help keep blood flowing through those constricted or narrowed arteries and help keep your legs nourished and prevent pain and ulcer-like sores. Many doctors will first recommend that you try a daily aspirin regimen to thin the blood without the need of an expensive prescription. Additionally, determining the right dosage for the prescription medication can be more difficult than with aspirin.
Sometimes, medications are not enough to help with the narrowed arteries in your legs when you have peripheral artery occlusive disease. When this is the case, one of the alternatives to medications is vascular surgery.
There are several different forms of vascular surgery that can help with peripheral artery occlusive disease. One such surgery is known as vascular bypass surgery. This procedure reroutes the blood flow from the arteries that are narrowed to more open arteries. This increases circulation and will improve your quality of life. Your surgeon will cut off the blood flow using chemicals, lasers or other tools that cause the artery to be completely closed off at a certain point. Then the remaining arterial tissue is rerouted and attached to another artery.
There are also other possible procedures to help with your peripheral artery occlusive disease. Angioplasty is the name of one such surgical procedure that is designed to widen the arteries that are narrowed. This can include the placement of stents, which are essentially artificial braces that hold the artery open at its most narrow points.
Now that you know a few of the treatment options for your peripheral artery occlusive disease, you can talk to your doctor and select the treatment that is right for you and your current situation. You could also check out local clinics, such as Cedar Surgical Associates PC, that specialize in vascular surgery.
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