Peripheral Arterial Disease

Treatment options for leg and upper extremity artery disease include open surgical (bypass) and endovascular treatment (angioplasty and stents):

Open vascular surgery

A bypass graft using a blood vessel from another part of the body or a tube made of synthetic material is placed in the area of the blocked or narrowed artery to reroute the blood flow.


A catheter (long hollow tube) is used to create a larger opening in an artery to increase blood flow. Angioplasty may be performed in many of the arteries in the body. There are several types of angioplasty procedures, including:

  • balloon angioplasty - a small balloon is inflated inside the blocked artery to open the blocked area
  • atherectomy - the blocked area inside the artery is "shaved" away by a tiny device on the end of a catheter
  • laser angioplasty - a laser used to "vaporize" the blockage in the artery
  • stent - a tiny coil is expanded inside the blocked artery to open the blocked area and is left in place to keep the artery open