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Aortofemoral Bypass


Aortofemoral bypass is surgery to place a graft to go around your blocked or damaged aorta. The aorta is a large blood vessel that carries blood and oxygen from your heart to your body. Your aorta splits into 2 smaller blood vessels called femoral arteries in your abdomen. These arteries carry blood and oxygen to your pelvis and your legs. The graft may be from a blood vessel in your arm or leg, or it may be man-made.



  • Prescription pain medicine helps decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take this medicine. You may also need aspirin to thin your blood and prevent blood clots. This medicine makes it more likely for you to bleed or bruise.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your healthcare provider or surgeon as directed:

You may need to return for blood tests. Healthcare providers may also need to check the blood flow in your legs and feet. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Wound care:

Follow your surgeon's instructions on how to clean your wound. Do not remove the bandage unless you are told to.


Ask about the best exercise plan for you. Walking is a low-impact exercise that can help prevent blood clots. Ask when you can return to work or your other daily activities.

Do not smoke:

If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Smoking increases the risk that your new graft will become blocked.

Contact your healthcare provider or surgeon if:

  • You have a fever.
  • Your wound is swollen, warm, red, or has pus coming from it.
  • You have new pain, or your leg or foot pain suddenly gets worse.
  • You have new sores on your legs or feet, or an old ulcer is not healing.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • Blood soaks through your bandage.
  • You have severe groin pain.
  • Your toes or feet suddenly become cold, darker in color, or pale.
  • Your leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
  • You cough up blood.
  • You have any of the following signs of a heart attack:
    • Squeezing, pressure, fullness, or pain in your chest that lasts longer than a few minutes or returns
    • Discomfort or pain in your back, neck, jaw, stomach, or arm
    • Shortness of breath or breathing problems
    • A sudden cold sweat, lightheadedness, dizziness, or nausea, especially with chest pain or trouble breathing

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.