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When noninvasive methods of clearing blocked arteries are no longer an option, or if multiple vessels are blocked, a vascular care physician may recommend peripheral vascular surgery as the best course for treatment.

How Peripheral Vascular Surgery Is Performed

Peripheral vascular surgery can be performed as an endarterectomy procedure, a technique used to remove the plaque buildup inside of the blocked artery.

If an artery or arteries are significantly blocked, a bypass procedure can be performed. A bypass surgery allows blood to bypass or flow around clogged arteries. A healthy blood vessel (arteries or veins) segment from the leg may be taken as a source for a new blood vessel. An artificial blood vessel may also be used. The new blood vessel is grafted to one end of the artery, beneath the blocked area. The other end of the blood vessel is grafted above the blocked area. The new vessel bypasses around the clogged artery allowing blood to flow freely through the arteries and reach the heart.