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Aortofemoral Bypass

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

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 artificial.

HOW TO PREPARE:

Before your surgery:

  • Your surgeon will tell you how to prepare. Arrange to have someone drive you home from surgery.
  • Tell your surgeon about all the medicines you currently take. He or she will tell you if you need to stop any medicine before surgery, and when to stop. He or she will tell you which medicines to take or not take on the day of surgery.
  • You may need blood tests before your surgery. You may also need an angiography, ultrasound, or CT to check the blood flow in your pelvis and legs.

The night before your surgery:

You may be told not to eat or drink anything after midnight.

The day of your surgery:

  • You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives healthcare providers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.
  • Take only the medicines your surgeon told you to take.
  • An IV will be placed into a vein. You may be given liquids or medicine through the IV.
  • General anesthesia is used to keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. You may get anesthesia through your IV. You may breathe it in through a mask or a tube placed down your throat. The tube may cause you to have a sore throat when you wake up.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN:

What will happen:

  • An incision will be made in your groin near your femoral artery. Another incision will be made in your abdomen near your aorta. Your surgeon may remove a vein from your arm or leg to use as the graft.
  • One end of a graft will be sewn to your aorta just above the blockage. The other end will be sewn to the femoral artery below the blockage. Blood will then flow through the graft and around the blocked area. Your incisions will be closed with stitches or staples.

After your surgery:

You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. Healthcare providers will monitor you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. When your healthcare provider sees that you are okay, you will be taken to your hospital room.

CONTACT YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IF:

  • You have a fever.
  • You get a cold or the flu.
  • You see new color changes in your feet or toes.
  • Your leg pain is becoming worse.
  • You have new ulcers on your legs or feet.
  • You have questions or concerns about your surgery.

Risks

You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. Your new graft may narrow, become blocked, and get infected. The blood flow to your legs and feet may become blocked again. You may need more surgery. Graft failure may increase your risk of a leg or foot amputation. You may get a blood clot that travels to your heart or lungs. This can be life-threatening.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

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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.