To bypass a narrowed or blocked blood vessel, blood is redirected through a graft made of synthetic material (such as polytetrafluoroethylene [PTFE] or Dacron). This graft is sewn above and below the diseased artery so that blood flows through the graft. These man-made grafts are more likely to be used than transplanted natural grafts for aortobifemoral surgery, because the blood vessels involved are large.
The artificial blood vessel is formed into a Y shape. The single end of the Y is sewn on the aorta. The two split ends of the Y are sewn below the blocked or narrowed areas of the femoral arteries. This allows the blood to travel around (bypass) the diseased areas.
General anesthesia is used and will cause you to sleep through the procedure.
What To Expect After Surgery
You may stay in the hospital 4 to 7 days. And you can expect your belly and groin to be sore for several weeks. You will probably feel more tired than usual for several weeks.
You may be able to do many of your usual activities after 4 to 6 weeks. But you will likely need 2 to 3 months to fully recover, especially if you typically do a lot of physical activities.
You will probably need to take at least 4 to 6 weeks off from work. It depends on the type of work you do and how you feel.
Why It Is Done
Aortobifemoral bypass surgery is for people who have narrowed or blocked blood vessels (aorta or iliac arteries) in the abdomen and pelvis. Usually the disease must be causing significant symptoms or be limb-threatening before bypass surgery is considered.
How Well It Works
All surgeries carry a certain amount of risk. These risks include:
Specific risks for aortobifemoral bypass surgery include:
- Leg swelling.
- Failed or blocked grafts.
- Sexual dysfunction caused by nerve damage in the pelvis.
What To Think About
Your doctor may recommend that you try an exercise program and medicine before he or she recommends that you have this surgery.
Hirsch AT, et al. (2006). ACC/AHA 2005 practice guidelines for the management of patients with peripheral arterial disease (lower extremity, renal, mesenteric, and abdominal aortic): A collaborative report from the American Association for Vascular Surgery/Society for Vascular Surgery, Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, Society for Vascular Medicine and Biology, Society of Interventional Radiology, and the ACC/AHA Task Force on Practice Guidelines (Writing Committee to Develop Guidelines for the Management of Patients With Peripheral Arterial Disease): Endorsed by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Society for Vascular Nursing; TransAtlantic Inter-Society Consensus; and Vascular Disease Foundation. Circulation, 113(11): e463-e654.
Primary Medical ReviewerRakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Specialist Medical ReviewerDavid A. Szalay, MD - Vascular Surgery
Current as ofFebruary 20, 2015