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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Femoropopliteal bypass is surgery to place a graft to go around narrowed arteries in your upper leg. The graft may be from a blood vessel in your arm or leg, or it may be man-made. A femoropopliteal bypass can improve blood flow to your leg and foot, and decrease your symptoms.
- 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 primary healthcare provider (PHP) 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 PHP or surgeon as directed:
You may need to return for blood tests. Caregivers may also need to check the blood flow in your leg. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Carefully wash the wound with soap and water. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your bandages when they get wet or dirty.
Elevate your leg:
Raise your leg above the level of your heart as often as you can. This will help decrease swelling and pain. Prop your leg on pillows or blankets to keep it elevated comfortably.
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 PHP or surgeon if:
- You have a fever.
- Your wound is swollen, warm, red, or has pus coming from it.
- You are not able to eat, you have nausea, or you are vomiting.
- You have diarrhea.
- 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 are urinating less than usual, or not at all.
- Your toes or foot 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.