Peripheral Artery Disease Treatments
The experts at Cavanagh Heart Center offer a wide range of options to treat peripheral artery disease, which can lead to a stroke or a heart attack.
Treatments for peripheral artery disease
An effective way to treat peripheral artery disease is through lifestyle changes: smoking cessation, healthy diet and exercise.
Medical therapy is another option. A cardiologist or vascular surgeon may prescribe medication to manage pain, clotting, cholesterol, blood pressure, or diabetes.
If lifestyle changes and medications are not working, a cardiologist, interventional radiologist or a vascular surgeon can perform a minimally invasive procedure to reduce plaque buildup. Our Cavanagh Heart Center physicians have performed thousands of procedures to treat peripheral artery disease.
We offer several types of procedures performed with local anesthesia and a mild sedative:
Artherectomy - A long, thin tube called a catheter is placed into the artery through a small incision in the leg or arm. The catheter has a sharp blade on the tip, which is placed in the blocked artery blockage. When activated, the blade removes plaque from the artery, creating a wider channel for blood to flow.
Balloon angioplasty - A Cavanagh Heart Center physician makes a small incision around the groin or the arm and places a long, thin tube called a catheter into the blocked artery. Once the balloon is strategically placed, it is inflated to compress the plaque and widen the passageway for blood to flow more freely.
Stent angioplasty - Done the same way as balloon angioplasty and most often in addition to balloon angioplasty or artherectomy. Once the balloon has compressed the plaque or the blade has removed the plaque, the physician typically inserts a stent (small metal, mesh like device) into the artery to keep it open. The stent becomes part of the artery wall and is never removed.
Surgical bypass- also called a lower extremity bypass is performed by Cavanagh Heart Center’s vascular surgeon. This is the surgical rerouting of blood flow around an obstructed artery that supplies blood to the legs and feet. This surgery is performed when the buildup of fatty deposits (plaque) in an artery has blocked the normal flow of blood that carries oxygen and nutrients to the lower extremities. Bypass surgery reroutes blood from above the obstructed portion of an artery to another vessel below the obstruction.
A bypass surgery is named for the artery that will be bypassed and the arteries that will receive the rerouted blood. The three common peripheral vascular bypass surgeries are:
- Aortobifemoral bypass surgery, which reroutes blood from the abdominal aorta to the two femoral arteries in the groin.
- Femoropopliteal bypass (fem-pop bypass) surgery, which reroutes blood from the femoral artery to the popliteal arteries above or below the knee.
- Femorotibial bypass surgery, which reroutes blood between the femoral artery and the tibial artery.
A substitute vessel or graft must be used in bypass surgeries to reroute the blood. The graft may be a healthy segment of the patient's own saphenous vein, a vein that runs the entire length of the thigh. A synthetic graft may be used if the patient's saphenous vein is not healthy or long enough, or if the vessel to be bypassed is a larger artery that cannot be replaced by a smaller vein.
For More Vascular Information
Ask our concierge, (602) 839-2400