Peripheral arterial disease is a general term used for disease of any artery in the body that is not part of the heart or brain. When arteries get clogged it can restrict the amount of blood flow from getting to arms, legs or organs.
There are many procedures that can be performed if the narrowing gets really bad.
- An angioplasty may be performed which is a ballooning of the inside of the artery. This is done via a catheter that is placed in the groin. Sometimes a stent is also placed to keep the artery from getting narrow again.
- An atherectomy is a procedure where a laser or other tool acts like a Roto-Rooter and cleans out the artery from the inside. This was also performed via a catheter that is placed in the groin.
- A bypass can also be performed, which is a surgery where a vein or a graft is used to make a detour around a blocked artery.
- An endarterectomy is a surgery where the artery is opened and the plaque is scraped out. The artery is then closed again.
- If the blockage becomes complete and blood supply can not get to an extremity, you may require an amputation. An amputation can be the removal of a finger or toe, or in more severe cases an arm or leg.