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Peripheral Artery Bypass - leg
Peripheral artery bypass is surgery to reroute the blood supply around a blocked artery in one of your legs. Fattydeposits can build up inside the arteries and block them. A graft is used to replace or bypass the blocked part of the artery. The graft may be a plastic tube, or it may be ablood vessel taken from your body (usually the oppOSite leg) during the same surgery.
Peripheral artery bypass surgery can be done in one or more of the following:
• Aorta -- the main artery that comes from your heart
• Artery in your hip
• Artery in your thigh
• Artery behind your knee
• Artery in your lower leg
• Artery in your armpit
During bypass surgery of any artery:
- You will receive medicine (anesthesia) so that you do not feel pain. The kind of anesthesia you receive will depend on what artery is being treated.
- Your surgeon will make a cut over the part of the artery that is blocked.
- After moving skin and tissue out of the way, the surgeron will place clamps at each end of the blocked section of artery. The graft is then sewn in place.
- The surgeon will make sure you have good blood flow in your lower leg. Then your cut will be closed. You may have an x-ray called an arteriogram to make sure that the graft is working.
If you are having bypass surgery to treat your aorta and iliac artery or your aorta and both femoral arteries (aortobifemoral)
- You will probably have general anesthesia. This will make you unconscious and unable to feel pain. Or,you may have epidural or spinal anesthesia instead. The doctor will inject your spine with medicine to make you numb from your waist down.
- Your surgeon will make a surgical cut in the middle of the abdoman to reach the aorta and iliac arteries.
If you are having bypass surgery to treat your lower leg (femoral popliteal):
- You may have general anesthesia. You will be unconscious and unable to feel pain. You may instead havean epidural or spinal anesthesia. The doctor will inject your spine with medicine to make you numb fromyour waist down. Some people have local anesthesia and a medicine to relax them. Local anesthesianumbs just the area being worked on.
- Your surgeon will make a cut in your leg between your groin and knee. It will be near the blockage in your artery.
Why the Procedure is Performed
Symptoms of a blocked peripheral artery are pain, achiness, or heaviness in your leg that starts or gets worsewhen you walk.