Just like blockages in the blood vessels of the heart cause heart attacks and chest pain, blockages in the blood vessels of the legs and arms can cause pain, sores and sometimes limb-threatening tissue loss called gangrene.
In the past, patients would require surgery to restore blood flow to the limbs. This involved large incisions, prolonged recovery time and higher risk. Now less invasive treatments are available.
Small hollow catheters (tubes) can be inserted into the groin or wrist all the way to the blockage in the limbs. Though these catheters, small balloons and tools can be inserted that can treat these blockages. After the procedure the patient may have to lie in bed for 2-6 hours. Compared to surgery, patients have a much faster recovery and many go home the same day.