Arterial occlusive disease - treatment and prevention

What can you do to prevent an AVC from developing?

It is best, of course, to prevent the onset of arterial occlusive disease. There are a number of factors that you can consider in your lifestyle and for which you can remedy the situation.

Among the risk factors for the development of arteriosclerosis and thus an AVC are mainly:

  • lack of exercise
  • overweight
  • a high-fat, unbalanced diet
  • nicotine
  • stress

Also, high blood pressure and high blood sugar levels in diabetes promote atherosclerotic deposits, so a good blood pressure and blood sugar control are so important.

Diagnosis of arterial occlusive disease

If you describe the symptoms, the doctor will first determine the extent of the AVC. To do this, it measures blood pressure on the foot arteries, determines your painless walking distance on a treadmill, and examines the arteries with ultrasound to detect deposits in the vessels.

To accurately diagnose the damage, a contrast agent angiography is then performed. A contrast agent is injected into the femoral artery and the X-ray image shows which arteries are affected in which section as much.

What can the doctor do against an AVC?

Short strictures (stenosis) may then be balloon-extended, with an inflatable tip catheter under X-ray control pushed to the narrowing and the balloon filled with saline until the debris is pushed to the edge.

For longer stenoses, on the one hand, there is the possibility of surgically removing the deposits, that is, the doctor performs a so-called thrombendarteriectomy and sews a piece of plastic skin, a patch, on the opened artery.

However, if the artery is massively damaged by the deposits, which have completely penetrated the wall of the artery and thereby can not be exfoliated, or if the stenosis is very long, a bypass is used which serves as a new flow-through facility for the blood.

Drug treatment of AVK

Medically, the vessels can also be expanded with prostaglandin E1. This messenger substance, which is also produced by the body, in addition to the vasodilation leads to an improvement in the flow properties of the blood and lowers blood lipid content.

Antiplatelet agents, which are substances such as acetylsalicylic acid or clopidogrel, are so-called "blood thinners", they are given to all patients with atherosclerosis to reduce the risk of a sudden occlusion of an artery.

What to do if you have been diagnosed with AVC?

Since an AVC develops slowly, the body is able to form bypasses (so-called collaterals). Smaller arteries take over the blood supply of the narrowed larger ones. You can promote the development of collaterals in the leg area by recording a walking training adapted to your situation.

At the latest, if you find symptoms that fit a showcase disease, you should design a "battle plan" against the progression of the AVC with a doctor of your own choosing, which may involve a change in your habits such as nicotine abstinence, a diet, as well includes walking training and additional medication.

Maybe the most important decision for more exercise will help you with a vascular sports group in your area? Or you lay down a run-down four-legged friends? In addition, you pay more attention to your poorly blooded feet: Do not worsen the circulation through tight footwear or constricting stockings and consider the regular visit to a professional chiropodist - your feet will thank you!

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