Peripheral Arterial Bypass Surgery

Catholic Health Peripheral Arterial Bypass Surgery

Peripheral arterial bypass surgery is a procedure used to treat peripheral artery disease (PAD). PAD occurs when atherosclerosis (buildup of plaque in the arteries) blocks normal blood flow to the legs or arms. Peripheral arterial bypass surgery treats this by rerouting the flow of blood through a graft (transplanted vein or artificial material), bypassing the blocked artery.

Your doctor may suggest peripheral arterial bypass surgery if you:

  • Have had an angioplasty that failed to improve blood flow
  • Have advanced PAD and are at high risk for gangrene or limb loss

What to Expect: Peripheral Arterial Bypass Surgery 

This procedure requires a stay in the hospital. You can expect the following on the day of your surgery:

  • Your surgical team will prepare you to receive either local or general anesthesia.
  • If you receive local anesthesia, you will be awake during the procedure, but you won't feel the area in which the surgeon is operating.
  • If you receive general anesthesia, you will be asleep during the procedure.
  • If a transplanted vein will be used as a graft, the surgeon will make an incision to access the vein.
  • The surgeon will cut out the amount of transplanted vein needed, seal the remaining parts of the vein back together, and close the incision.
  • The surgeon will then make another incision to access the blocked artery.
  • The part of the artery that is blocked will be cut, and the graft will be sewn into place.
  • The surgeon will check to make sure blood is flowing through the graft correctly before closing the incision.

Recovery time for this procedure requires several days in the hospital. Please arrange for someone to drive you home from the hospital.

Upon your return home, you may need help completing everyday tasks for a week or longer. Avoid any strenuous activities for as long as your doctor recommends.

Be sure to follow all of your doctor's orders for a proper recovery. It's very important to keep the incision area clean and change the surgical dressing frequently to prevent infection.

Your peripheral arterial bypass surgery care team may include specialists from these services: