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Peripheral Artery Disease

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jun 5, 2024.

What is peripheral artery disease (PAD)?

PAD is narrow, weak, or blocked arteries. It may affect any arteries outside of your heart and brain. PAD is usually the result of a buildup of fat and cholesterol, also called plaque, along your artery walls. Inflammation, a blood clot, or abnormal cell growth could also block your arteries. PAD prevents normal blood flow to your legs and arms. You are at risk of an amputation if poor blood flow keeps wounds from healing or causes gangrene (tissue death). Without treatment, PAD can also cause a heart attack or stroke.

What increases my risk for PAD?

What are the signs and symptoms of PAD?

Mild PAD usually does not cause symptoms. As the disease worsens over time, you may have the following:

How is PAD diagnosed?

How is PAD treated?

Treatment can help reduce your risk of a heart attack, stroke, or amputation. You may need more than one of the following:

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

How can I manage PAD?

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.