Limb Salvage and Amputation Prevention Program

University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute offers a Limb Salvage Program, one of a select number of such centers in the United States.

Call to schedule an appointment: 216-844-3800

The program transforms the standard of care for “no option” critical limb ischemia (CLI)  patients at risk of amputation. UH specialists can provide consultations for patients with blood flow blockages in the leg, advanced peripheral artery disease (PAD), foot ulcers or gangrene.

Experts within UH Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute are national principal investigators for multiple clinical trials aimed at reducing leg amputations, giving patients unparalleled access to novel therapies to prevent lower extremity limb loss.

One Patient’s Story

With one leg previously amputated, Jean came to UH with the same condition – critical limb ischemia – in her other leg. Through advanced techniques, her leg was saved.

Limb Salvage Clinical Trials

Innovative limb salvage clinical trials are under way at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. Examples include:

LimFlow Percutaneous Deep Vein Arterialization (pDVA) System
This breakthrough first-in-humans clinical trial employs a novel proprietary technique to provide endovascular venous arterialization that cannot be corrected by surgery or other endovascular approaches. The goal is to redirect blood from ischemic arteries into the tibial veins, providing a bypass around the blockage in the artery and resupplying oxygen to the surrounding tissue. Outcomes from the procedure include wound healing, limb salvage and remarkable changes in the vasculature of the foot. UH Cleveland Medical Center is one of five centers nationally and the only center in Ohio offering LimFlow to end-stage CLI patients without options.
LimFlow Percutaneous Deep Vein Arterialization (pDVA) System

Biologic therapy
As an adjunctive therapy to revascularization, bioactive agents are injected into the foot to observe wound healing in a more timely fashion. The biologic stimulates and directs naturally occurring angiogenic factors in the body to the site of injury with the hope that new small blood vessels will build to improve perfusion.

“Chocolate” drug-coated balloon catheter
The “Chocolate Touch” clinical trial evaluates whether this second-generation device is superior to the older Lutonix model. The primary endpoint of the trial is “true drug-coated balloon success,” defined as the patient achieving primary patency without bail-out stenting.

Radial to peripheral (R2P) program
R2P allows complex procedures in the leg to be performed via the radial approach, widely used for cardiac procedures. The last five to 10 years have shown when patients are treated from the wrist, it is less risky and associated with less bleeding, and that patient satisfaction and quality of the procedure are higher than if done through the groin.


Given our commitment to education and public health, Mehdi Shishehbor, DO, MPH, PhD, has trained more than 400 physicians across the United States in advanced techniques for limb salvage. These courses continue to be offered annually.