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Health Information Center

Talking to Your Doctor about Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Talking to Your Doctor about Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

You have your own health history. Talk with your doctor about your risk factors and background with PAD. By talking openly and often with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.

Tips for Getting Information

Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:

  • Bring someone with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask. They may also be able to provide more details to the doctor.
  • Write down your questions so do you do not forget them.
  • Write down the answers you get and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for help if you need it.
  • Do not be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information. You have a right to know.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

About Your Risk of Having Symptoms

  • Will I get symptoms in the future? How soon will that happen?

About Your Risk of Complications

  • How likely is it that I will have complications like infection or gangrene ?

About Treatment

  • Can you help me with foot care or should I see a podiatrist?
  • What medicines do you advise?
    • What are the side effects and benefits?
    • Will they cause problems with anything I am already taking?
    • How long will I have to take them?
  • Are there alternative therapies that have been shown to help treat PAD?
  • Will I need surgery?

About Lifestyle Changes

  • Am I doing all I can to help keep PAD from getting worse?
  • Can you suggest an exercise program that is right for me?

About Outlook

  • What can I expect in the future?
  • Do I have any other health problems that affect my blood vessels?
  • How and why does PAD affect my risk for heart attack and stroke ?


  • Getting the most out of your doctor appointment. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/tips-for-talking-to-your-doctor. Accessed March 25, 2021.
  • Peripheral artery disease (PAD). American Heart Association website. Available at: https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/peripheral-artery-disease. Accessed March 24, 2022.
  • Peripheral artery disease (PAD). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/PAD.htm. Accessed March 24, 2022.
  • Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) of lower extremities. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/peripheral-artery-disease-pad-of-lower-extremities. Accessed March 24, 2022.
  • Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) of upper extremities. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/peripheral-artery-disease-pad-of-upper-extremities. Accessed March 24, 2022.


  • Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.