Left untreated, PAD can lead to amputation

Ask a doctor about minimally invasive treatments

If you have peripheral artery disease (PAD), your health care provider may have explained the disease and its treatment options. There are many medical procedures, terms and words you may be hearing about for the first time.

Below is an explanation of many of the procedures. You can download and complete our checklist and use the information below to talk to your doctor about PAD.

Your health care provider may recommend minimally invasive treatment options20 as an alternative to amputation. These are medical procedures that can be less complicated than traditional procedures. In minimally invasive surgery, surgeons use a variety of techniques to operate with less injury to the body than with open surgery.

In general, it is safer than open surgery and allows you to recover faster and heal with less pain and scarring. Angioplasty and atherectomy are types of minimally invasive procedures that your doctor may refer to as “endovascular.” This means they are “inside the blood vessel” procedures. They are now performed more commonly than bypass surgery in the treatment of PAD.32

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In this minimally invasive procedure, a small, hollow tube (called a catheter) is threaded through a blood vessel to the affected artery. There, a small balloon on the tip of the catheter is inflated to reopen the artery and flatten the blockage into the artery wall, while at the same time stretching the artery open to increase blood flow.35 Your doctor may also insert a mesh framework called a stent in the artery to help keep it open. This is the same procedure doctors use to open heart arteries.35


A stent is a tiny mesh framework in the shape of a tube that is placed in an artery to keep it open. Stents are often used in other procedures, such as angioplasty.


Atherectomy is a minimally invasive procedure to open blocked arteries by using a device on the end of a catheter to remove atherosclerotic plaque36 (a deposit of fat and other substances including calcium that accumulate in the lining of the artery wall).

Check with a health care professional to determine if a minimally invasive treatment is an option for you.

Schedule an appointment with your doctor today.

Use our Find a Doctor tool to locate a PAD specialist near you.

Minimally Invasive Treatment

THE GOOD NEWS: There are many TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR PAD. So don’t wait. Discuss your symptoms with your doctor now.

Talk to Your Doctor

Only a health care professional can diagnose you with PAD. Our Symptom Quiz can help guide the conversation about your treatment options.

Take the Symptom Quiz

Click below to take the interactive Symptom Quiz. You can print your answers out and take them with you to a doctor to help guide your conversation about PAD.

Early Detection

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