Our third installment concerning “peripheral artery disease” covers invasive surgical procedures which may be employed to correct obstructions, strengthen arterial walls, and/or by-pass deteriorated arterial pathways altogether.

In some cases, angioplasty or bypass or thrombolytic therapy surgery may be necessary to treat “peripheral artery disease”. With angioplasty, a catheter is threaded through a blood vessel to the affected artery. There, a small balloon on the tip of the catheter is inflated to reopen the artery and flatten the blockage into the artery wall, while at the same time stretching the artery to increase blood flow. A mesh framework called a stent may be placed in the artery to help keep it open. This is the same procedure doctors use to open heart arteries. Many times, this relatively simple procedure is extremely efficient in opening up clogged arteries.

In bypass surgery, the doctor creates a graft bypass using a vessel from another part of your body (many times a vein from another area of your body) or a blood vessel made of synthetic fabric. This technique allows blood to flow around – or bypass – the blocked or narrowed artery. With thrombolytic therapy, a clot-dissolving drug is injected into your artery at the point of the clot to break it up.

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– John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. He can be reached at: (781) 378-2164; email: jdmiller@homecarepartners.biz ; or online at: www.homecarepartnersma.com

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