Traditional outcomes following revascularization for chronic critical limb ischemia consider limb retention and hemodynamic results. Health-related quality of life is not measured. This study was undertaken to determine if surgery for chronic critical limb ischemia improves health-related quality of life. Forty-six patients undergoing revascularization (anklebrachial index <0.4 for nondiabetics, ankle-brachial index <0.6 for diabetics and rest pain or nonhealing ischemic ulcers) completed pre- and postoperative Short-Form 36 questionnaires, which were used to assess health-related quality of life in patients undergoing arterial reconstruction for chronic critical limb ischemia. Patients reported a mild improvement in functional status postoperatively, and overall low health-related quality of life. Health-related quality of life is slow to show progress following revascularization. Health-related quality of life should become an important outcomes end point.