An aortobifemoral (say "ay-OR-toh-by-FEM-uh-ruhl") bypass is surgery to redirect blood flow around blocked blood vessels in your belly or pelvis. These blocked blood vessels are caused by peripheral arterial disease. The surgery is done to get more blood flow to the legs. This may relieve symptoms such as leg pain, numbness, and cramping. You may be able to walk longer distances without leg pain.
Your doctor will use a man-made blood vessel, called a graft, to bypass the blocked blood vessels. The graft will carry blood from the aorta to the femoral artery in the groin area of each thigh. The aorta is the large blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the blood vessels in the belly. The femoral arteries are large blood vessels that carry blood from the blood vessels in the belly and pelvis to the legs.
You will be asleep during the surgery.
The doctor will make cuts (incisions) in your belly and in the groin area of each thigh. The doctor will connect the graft to the aorta through the cut in the belly. He or she will then tunnel the graft down to the cuts in your groin. This connects the bypass to your femoral arteries.
When the graft is in place, the doctor will close the cuts in your skin with stitches or staples.
You will probably spend 4 to 7 days in the hospital. Your belly and groin will 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.
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.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
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Current as of: December 6, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
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