A femoropopliteal bypass is a type of surgery. It is also called a fem-pop or leg artery bypass. This type of surgery redirects blood around a blocked blood vessel in your leg. So it may improve the blood flow in your leg. This can decrease leg pain, numbness, and cramping.
Your doctor will use something called a graft to make the blood go around (bypass) the blocked part of your blood vessel. The graft may be a vein taken from another place in your leg. Or it may be a man-made blood vessel.
You will probably be asleep during the surgery. But it also can be done while you are awake. If you are awake, you will get medicine to numb your leg and prevent pain. First, the doctor makes cuts in your thigh and sometimes in the side of the calf. These cuts are called incisions. If one of your veins is being used for the graft, the doctor will make other incisions in your leg. Then the doctor will attach one end of the graft to the femoral artery in your thigh. The other end will be attached to the popliteal artery above or below your knee. After the graft is in place and blood is flowing through it, the doctor uses stitches or staples to close the incisions. You will have scars, but they will fade with time.
You will probably spend 2 to 4 days in the hospital. For at least 2 to 6 weeks, you will need to take it easy at home. It may take 6 to 12 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.
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Current as of: March 20, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
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