The most efficient treatment for acute arterial embolism is operative embolectomy using Fogarty's balloon catheter, especially if a single large artery is involved. Unfortunately, although the early surgical success of arterial thromboembolectomy often seems acceptable, the early clinical outcome still remains unsatisfactory. This may be related to the incomplete restoration of perfusion (i.e. residual thrombus in distal vessels not reached by the balloon catheter thromboembolectomy), propagation of residual thrombi or presence of underlying steno-occlusive lesions. In such a situation a meticulous intraoperative assessment of the adequacy of clot removal is decisive. Residual thrombus, chronic atherosclerotic disease and even vessel injuries secondary to balloon catheter passage can be corrected by endovascular techniques (hybrid procedures). The combination of surgical and endovascular options may overcome the limitations that characterize the traditional approach, and it is likely that in the future many treatments will be a mix of techniques that can be performed by vascular surgeons in the operating room or in a dedicated endovascular suite. This review article summarizes the hybrid treatment options for acute arterial occlusion caused by either embolism or local thrombosis.