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Aortoiliac and Aortofemoral Bypass Graft Surgery
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

What is Aortoiliac and Aortofemoral Bypass Graft Surgery?

In a bypass, artificial tubes (grafts) are placed near a section of the blood vessel that is blocked or narrowed. The graft creates a path so that blood can move around the blockage. In this case, the grafts are placed on the aorta and the iliac or femoral arteries.

The aorta is the major artery that leaves the heart. It brings oxygen-rich blood to the body. At about the level of the belly button, the aorta divides into two iliac arteries. At the level of the groin, the iliac arteries become the femoral arteries.

Aortofemoral bypass is also called aorto bifemoral bypass. This is because the graft is formed in the shape of an upside down "y."

Most bypass surgery involves a traditional, open incision. Research is being done on how to do these operations through laparoscopic...

To have good blood flow to the lower part of the body, there must be good blood flow through the aorta, the iliac arteries, and the femoral arteries. Atherosclerosis is a disease in which sticky patches (plaques) build up along the walls of blood vessels. These plaques block the normal flow of blood within affected blood vessels. When the blood flow is decreased, the tissues on the other side of the blockage do not receive enough oxygen. This can result in the following:

  • Pain that increases the longer you walk or exercise (called intermittent claudication)
  • Cold feet or legs
  • Scaly, dry, reddened, itchy, or brown skin on the legs or feet
  • Nonhealing and/or infected sores (ulcers) on your legs or feet
  • Gangrene
  • The need for amputation of the leg
  • Nerve...

Possible Complications

If you are planning to have a bypass, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

  • Infection
  • Obstruction of the new graft by blood clots
  • Bleeding
  • Complications from anesthesia
  • Scarring
  • Nerve damage

Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

  • Heart or lung conditions
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Kidney or liver problems
  • Advanced age
  • Infections

Call Your Doctor

After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:

  • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
  • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the incision site
  • Nausea and/or vomiting that you cannot...