Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) – also known as peripheral vascular disease, atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries -- is a disorder that occurs in the arteries of the circulatory system. Arteries are the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrient-rich blood from the heart to all areas of the body. PAD occurs in the arteries that carry blood to the arms and legs.
Medical management of PAD may include the following:
- Lifestyle Changes including quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet and exercise.
- Management other conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol.
- Medications, to treat conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes.
- Antiplatelet medication, such as aspirin or clopidogrel (Plavix) may be prescribed.
- Cilostazol (Pletal), medication to improve symptoms of intermittent claudication.
- Good foot and skin care, to prevent infection and reduce the risk of complications. Aggressive wound care, such as negative pressure wound therapy, is necessary to treat wounds from poor circulation.
- A supervised walking program to improve pain-free walking distance in patients with blocked arteries.
More advanced PAD can be treated with interventional procedures or surgery.
Interventional procedures include angioplasty (to widen or clear the blocked vessel), angioplasty with stent placement (to support the cleared vessel and keep it open), or atherectomy (to remove the blockage).
Surgical procedures include:
Doctors vary in quality due to differences in training and experience; hospitals differ in the number of services available. The more complex your medical problem, the greater these differences in quality become and the more they matter.
Clearly, the doctor and hospital that you choose for complex, specialized medical care will have a direct impact on how well you do. To help you make this choice, please review our Miller Family Heart and Vascular Institute Outcomes.
Cleveland Clinic Heart and Vascular Institute Vascular Medicine Specialists and Surgeons
Choosing a doctor to treat your vascular disease depends on where you are in your diagnosis and treatment. The following Heart and Vascular Institute Sections and Departments treat patients with all types of vascular disease, including blood clotting disorders:
ection of Vascular Medicine: for evaluation, medical management or interventional procedures to treat vascular disease. In addition, the Non-Invasive Laboratory includes state-of-the art computerized imaging equipment to assist in diagnosing vascular disease, without added discomfort to the patient. Call Vascular Medicine Appointments, toll-free 800-223-2273, extension 44420 or request an appointment online.
Department of Vascular Surgery: surgery evaluation for surgical treatment of vascular disease, including aorta, peripheral artery, and venous disease. Call Vascular Surgery Appointments, toll-free 800-223-2273, extension 44508 or request an appointment online.
IVC Filter Retrieval Clinic - to make an appointment, call Vascular Medicine at 216.444.4420. Ask for Dr. Bartholomew in the Filter Retrieval Clinic. Your appointment will include a consultation with Dr. Bartholomew and the physicians who will perform the IVC filter retrieval procedure.
You may also use our MyConsult second opinion consultation using the Internet.
The Heart and Vascular Institute also has specialized centers and clinics to treat certain populations of patients:
Learn more about experts who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of vascular and arterial disease.
If you need more information, click here to contact us, chat online with a nurse or call the Miller Family Heart and Vascular Institute Resource & Information Nurse at 216.445.9288 or toll-free at 866.289.6911. We would be happy to help you.
Becoming a Patient
- Aortic Aneurysm
- May Thurner Syndrome
- Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
- Vein and Vascular
- All Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute Treatment Guides
Diagnostic tests are used to diagnose your abnormal heartbeat and the most effective treatment method.
Our webchats and video chats give patients and visitors another opportunity to ask questions and interact with our physicians.
- Vascular Disease, Peripheral Arterial Disease & Thrombosis webchats and video chats
- All Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute webchats
- Recovery at home
- Support Groups and Information
- Visit Health Essentials - Read articles on vascular disorders and healthy living on Health Essentials
- Follow Heart & Vascular Institute webchats and news stories on Twitter*
- Subscribe to Heart and Vascular eNews
- American Stroke Association *
- American Heart Association *
- Vascular Cures*
- VascularWeb - Resources for Vascular Disease and Treatment*
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