From 1982 to 1991, 17 patients underwent a lower extremity arterial bypass to salvage an ischemic transmetatarsal amputation at the New England Deaconess Hospital. Eleven patients were male, and 16 had diabetes for an average of 29 years. The mean age was 71 years. Twelve patients presented with an ischemic ulcer, one had rest pain, and four underwent bypass for failure to heal a transmetatarsal amputation. Twelve patients presented with findings of secondary infection. All 17 patients underwent successful lower extremity bypass procedures to a variety of outflow vessels. Thirteen bypasses were to infrapopliteal arteries, including four to the dorsalis pedis artery. There were no perioperative deaths and all patients were discharged with patent grafts and healing limbs. Actuarial graft patency of the 14 vein grafts was 90% at 2 years. Actuarial limb salvage for the entire group was 93% at 2 years. Thirteen of the 14 patients who maintained patent grafts and healed their transmetatarsal amputations were ambulatory at their last known follow-up examination. Ischemic complications of previously created transmetatarsal amputations are uncommon. However, limb salvage attempts by lower extremity arterial bypass have a high likelihood of success. Major amputation in these patients should not be done without having first undergone a comprehensive vascular evaluation.