Bypass Surgery for AtherosclerosisPAD/PVD

Overview

In a bypass surgery for atherosclerosis, peripheral artery disease (PAD) or peripheral vascular disease (PVD), your surgeon creates a new pathway so blood can flow around an artery in your leg that’s been blocked by fatty deposits called plaque.

Evaluation

Before your surgery, your doctor will request lab and pre-operative imaging tests to evaluate your blockage. He or she will talk with you about any questions or concerns you have and give you instructions on how to get ready for your procedure. For example, you’ll need to avoid eating or drinking for a certain number of hours beforehand. You’ll also need to stop taking certain medications.

What to Expect

During your bypass, you’ll have anesthesia so you won’t feel any pain. Your surgeon will make a small incision just below the blockage. Then he or she will connect a section of blood vessel removed from another part of your leg or a synthetic Dacron® tube to your artery above and below the blockage. This creates a new pathway that oxygen-rich blood can flow through. In most cases, the procedure takes 3 to 5 hours. Your medical team will closely monitor you to anticipate your needs and prevent complications.

Recovery

In most cases, you’ll stay in the hospital from 5 to 8 days. You’ll have a team of nurses, therapists and other support staff to help you as your recover.

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