People with advanced peripheral artery disease (PAD) have a serious condition that may require serious treatment.

People who have progressed to the worst form of PAD, called critical limb ischemia (CLI),1 face difficult decisions. With CLI, the restricted blood flow in your feet and legs could be so considerable and widespread that you may be at risk for an amputation.9

There are several treatment options that a doctor may recommend.

One of the options a doctor may discuss is arterial bypass surgery. But there could be other options.

Bypass surgery is a commonly used technique. In this surgery, the surgeon changes the route of the arteries to flow around – or bypass – a blocked or narrowed artery.35

However, a doctor specializing in minimally invasive treatments may have other options for you. It is important to ask for a second opinion if a doctor has suggested that you need an amputation or bypass surgery.

Minimally invasive treatments are medical procedures that can be less complicated than bypass surgery. In minimally invasive treatment, the physician uses a small wire or catheter in your arteries to access a problem spot or blocked artery.

These are sometimes called endovascular treatments and could be a specific procedure, such as an angioplasty or an atherectomy. These are alternative ways to treat the artery to remove or lessen a blockage.

Only a doctor can determine the appropriate treatments for your condition. But not all doctors are PAD specialists – and not all PAD specialists use the most modern treatment techniques.

If you have advanced PAD, learn about minimally invasive treatments and don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion from a doctor who has experience with them.

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