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Disease Information : CLI : Treatment

Critical Limb Ischemia : Treatment

Critical Limb Ischemia (CLI) Treatment Options

Treatment for CLI can be quite complex and individualized, but the overall goal should always be to reduce the pain and improve blood flow to save the leg. A treatment plan will likely include:

A bypass graft may be performed in more serious cases. This surgical procedure uses either an artificial tube or one of your veins as a new artery to bring improved blood flow to the needed area. The place where the blood flow is constricted is bypassed. (See Keeping in Circulation, Fall 2001, Vol. 1 Issue 3) In a few cases, the surgeon may cut open the artery and scrape out the plaque keeping the artery usable. The last recourse would be amputation of a toe, part of the foot, or leg. Amputation occurs in about 25 percent of all CLI patients.

Since treatment depends on the severity of the disease and many individual parameters, it is essential that someone with ulcers, or pain in the legs or feet when walking or at rest, see a vascular specialist as soon as possible. The earlier a diagnosis can be made, the earlier treatment can be started with less serious consequences.