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Living With Peripheral Arterial Disease Treatments

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

Successful treatment for PAD can provide relief from pain and other symptoms that may be holding you back from doing the things you love. Your recovery time and capabilities will depend on the type of treatment you've received. With minimally invasive options like balloon angioplasty and stenting, you may be surprised at how quickly you can get back to the activities you enjoy.

After Surgery

Your experience immediately after your procedure depends on the treatment you’ve received. After bypass or open surgery, you can expect to spend a few days in the hospital. Stenting and balloon angioplasty are less invasive procedures that may require a shorter hospital stay.

More: Surgery - What to expect


If you've had a bypass or open surgery, you should start feeling better in 4 to 6 weeks or possibly less, depending on the surgical approach. After a stent implant, you should start feeling better after a week or so.

Signs to Watch For

If the place where the catheter was inserted, or where a surgical site was closed starts to bleed, you should lie down and apply pressure to the site, and call your doctor. Any change in color, pain or warm feeling in the area where the catheter was inserted, or where the surgical site was closed, should also be should also be reported to your doctor.

Returning to Normal Activities

The time it will take you to return to your normal activities depends on your treatment. If you’ve had a bypass or open surgery, it may take up to 12 weeks, depending on the surgical approach and other factors. Ask your doctor what to expect.

After a balloon angioplasty or stenting procedure, most people are able to return to work and their normal routines after about a week. People who do very physical work will need to wait longer. Check with your doctor before doing any strenuous physical activity. As with all medical procedures, there are risks involved.

It can be difficult for someone who has undergone angioplasty or stenting to get back to their lives right away. Having family and friends around to help can make recovery easier.

Daily Living

For many people, peripheral arterial disease treatment improves blood flow through what was the blocked artery. As a result, you should have less pain in your extremities and a greater capacity to walk and exercise.

Although stents, balloon angioplasty surgery, and other surgical treatments can reopen arteries and help keep them open, these treatments can't stop atherosclerosis and are not a cure for PAD. The best way to maintain good results after your procedure is to adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle. Many people who have undergone surgery, angioplasty or stent procedures, take the opportunity to start making healthier choices afterward.

Your doctor can give you specific suggestions as to how you can improve your cardiovascular health, but you can start by addressing some basics. Take your medication as your doctor prescribes. Adopt a heart-healthy diet. Quit smoking. Get more exercise. And, as always, see your doctor on a regular basis.

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Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.