femoral endarterectomy (say "FEM-uh-rull en-dar-tuh-REK-tuh-mee") is done to
remove fatty buildup (plaque) from the femoral artery. This is a
large blood vessel in the leg. When plaque builds up in the artery, it can make
it hard for blood to flow in your leg. After surgery, blood may flow better
in your leg. You may feel less leg pain. And you may have less numbness and cramping.
You will probably be asleep during the surgery. But it might be done
while you are awake. If this is the case, you will get medicine to numb your leg
and prevent pain.
The doctor will make a cut (incision) in your
groin or upper thigh. The cut is made over the blocked part of the artery. The doctor will
then make a cut in the artery and will take out the plaque.
Next, the doctor may sew a man-made patch over the cut in your artery. But sometimes a piece of blood vessel from
another part of the leg is sewn over the cut. This will
make the artery wider. It also helps keep it from getting narrow again. Then the
doctor will use stitches to close the cut in your skin. It will
leave a scar. But the scar will fade with time.
You will probably spend 1
or 2 days in the hospital. You will need to take it easy for 1 to 4
weeks at home. It may take 6 to 8 weeks to fully recover.
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 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.
Surgery can be
stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you
safely prepare for surgery.
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter R010 in the search box to learn more about "Femoral Endarterectomy: Before Your Surgery."
Current as of:
January 27, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
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