Ask your doctor
The following questions can help you talk to your doctor about your individual risk of having peripheral artery disease (PAD). Consider printing out or writing down these questions and taking them with you to your appointment. Taking notes can help you remember your physician’s response when you get home.
- Based on my family history, am I at a greater risk for PAD?
- Based on my personal history, am I at a greater risk for PAD?
- How can I prevent losing my toes, feet, and legs to amputation?
- Does diabetes increase my risk of having PAD?
- Do my cholesterol levels put me at risk for PAD?
- Is my weight within a healthy range to prevent PAD?
- Can you help me quit smoking (if you smoke)?
- Is my blood pressure within the normal range? Can you help me control high blood pressure?
- What dietary choices should I be making to improve my cardiovascular health?
- What level of exercise is safe for me that will also have cardiovascular benefits?
If you’ve been diagnosed with PAD
If you’ve been diagnosed with PAD, it’s 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.
- What additional tests may I need?
- What are my treatment options? What combination of lifestyle, medication, and in-hospital treatments/surgery may be necessary to combat the disease?
- What is my prognosis? What are the likely outcomes?
- Will I lose my toes, feet, and legs to amputation?
- Will I be able to have my desired quality of life? What can I do to improve the odds of this?
- What happens after treatment? If treatment involves recovery, how long will that take?
- What follow-up will be necessary?
- How long is a particular treatment likely to be effective?
- Who can I turn to for support (hospital staff, support groups, etc.)?
- After treatment of my PAD, how can I prevent my disease from worsening?