What questions should I ask my doctor if I have peripheral artery disease?

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Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition in which blockages are present in the arteries that supply blood to the legs, feet, and kidneys (the latter is more specifically called renal artery stenosis). If you have been diagnosed with PAD, it is normal to be worried and to want as much information about the disease and treatment as possible. It can be a particularly difficult time for patients who have experienced a serious cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or stroke. The following questions can lay the groundwork for a discussion between you and your doctor.
  1. What additional tests may I need?
  2. What are my treatment options? What combination of lifestyle, medication, and in-hospital treatments/surgery may be necessary to combat the disease?
  3. What is my prognosis? What are the likely outcomes?
  4. Will I lose my toes, feet, or legs to amputation?
  5. Will I be able to have my desired quality of life? What can I do to improve the odds of this?
  6. What happens after treatment? If treatment involves recovery, how long will that take? 
  7. What follow-up will be necessary?
  8. How long is a particular treatment likely to be effective?
  9. Who can I turn to for support (hospital staff, support groups, etc.)? 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.