Lower Extremity Bypass Surgery

If you suffer from pain and persistent wounds on your legs and feet due to peripheral arterial disease, you may be a candidate for lower extremity bypass surgery. The expert surgeons at American Vascular Specialists perform lower extremity bypass surgery at their location in Mesa, Arizona. To learn more about lower extremity bypass surgery, call or book an appointment online today.

Lower Extremity Bypass Surgery Q & A

What is lower extremity bypass surgery?

Lower extremity bypass surgery involves rerouting blood flow around an area of blockage in your leg. The team at American Vascular Specialists uses this procedure to replace part of an artery that becomes blocked due to a buildup of fatty deposits (atherosclerosis).

To bypass your blocked artery, the team at American Vascular Specialists uses a graft. The graft may be natural, coming from another blood vessel in your body (typically the other leg), or it may consist of a plastic tube.

Why would I need lower extremity bypass surgery?

The team at American Vascular Specialists uses lower extremity bypass surgery to treat adults with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) who experience symptoms that include:

  • Leg pain while walking (claudication)
  • Pain in the feet and legs at rest
  • Sores on the legs and feet that don’t heal
  • Dead tissue (gangrene)

Usually, bypass surgery isn’t the first line of treatment for PAD. You may be a candidate for this procedure if you continue to suffer from PAD symptoms after trying other treatments, such as exercise, medication, and quitting smoking. 

The team at American Vascular Specialists may evaluate you for a less-invasive procedure, such as balloon angioplasty or stenting. If these procedures aren’t suitable for your condition, lower extremity bypass surgery may be necessary.

What does lower extremity bypass surgery entail?

Your American Vascular Specialists surgeon creates a personalized bypass surgery plan suited to your specific needs. Depending on your situation, the surgery itself can take between 1.5-6 hours.

Lower extremity bypass surgery takes place in the hospital while you’re under general or spinal anesthesia. Your surgeon makes an incision about 4-8 inches long on your thigh.

If they’re using your own vein to create a graft, they make other small incisions on the inner side of your leg. They attach the graft to each end of your blocked artery and then close your incisions.

You may need to stay in the hospital for 2-5 days after surgery. When you go home, your American Vascular Specialists may recommend or require that someone stays with you for a few days to help out while you recover. Most people take a few weeks off from work for lower extremity bypass surgery. 

If you experience the symptoms of peripheral artery disease (PAD), lower extremity bypass may help improve your quality of life. Call American Vascular Specialists or book an appointment online today.