Counties Manukau Health Vascular Surgery Service
Peripheral Vascular Disease
When atherosclerotic plaque causes narrowing (stenosis) or blockage (occlusion) of the arteries that supply the legs, this can lead to problems with walking (claudication) or the development of ulcers and gangrene.
There are various options to improve the blood supply (revascularisation). Often an artery can be opened up (angioplastied) using wires, catheters and balloons using x-ray guidance. At Middlemore Hospital this work is undertaken by the Vascular Radiologists who have special training in these techniques. When surgery is necessary there are a number of techniques available. If a bypass graft around the blockage is required, often a vein from your own leg is used to act as the connection (conduit) between the artery above and below the blockage.