- by Dr. Sunil Dwivedi
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- Aug 21 2017
COMPLICATIONS AND TREATMENT OF PERIPHERAL ARTERY DISEASE
Plaque buildup in blood vessels leading to peripheral artery disease (atherosclerosis) leads to a risk of developing:
- Critical limb ischemia. Beginning of this condition is as open sores that don't heal, or an injury/ infection of your feet or legs. When such injuries or infections progress critical ischemia occurs and can cause tissue death (gangrene), sometimes requiring amputation of the affected limb.
- Stroke and heart attack. Process of plaque formation and atherosclerosis that causes the signs and symptoms of peripheral artery disease isn't limited to your legs. Fat deposits also build up in arteries supplying your heart and brain.
There are two major goals of treatment for peripheral artery disease. Managing symptoms, such as leg pain, so that you can resume physical activities is the primary goal. To stop the progression of atherosclerosis throughout your body to reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke is the secondary goal.
These goals can be accomplished with lifestyle changes. Quitting the smoking habit is the single most important thing you can do to reduce your risk of complications. You need additional medical treatment if lifestyle changes are not enough. Your doctor may prescribe medicine to prevent blood clots, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and control pain and other symptoms.
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