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Prior to undergoing surgery, your peripheral artery disease needs to be thoroughly assessed so that we will be able to opt for the most efficient treatment approach. Consequently, you will be asked to undergo a series of diagnostic tests and procedures, which will help us evaluate every aspect of your conditions. The most commonly employed tests for peripheral artery disease include:
Once you are deemed eligible for lower extremity bypass surgery, the date of your intervention will be chosen. You will first receive general or local anesthesia, depending on your overall health and personal preference. The primary goal of this procedure is to create an alternative path (a bypass) through which blood will properly reach the lower region of your body. We will collect a section of one of your healthy veins (the greater saphenous vein, located between your groin area and your foot, is typically used) which will serve as a graft or, if this is not possible, a synthetic graft made of fabric or plastic will be employed instead. The proper surgery begins afterwards.
An incision of 4-8 inches is made in your groin or leg region near the blocked artery. One end of the graft will be attached above the obstruction, while the other will be placed bellowed it. This way, a detour is created around the affected portion of your artery so that blood will be able to travel through the lower area of your body. At the end of the intervention, your incision will be securely closed with sutures (stitches) and a sterile dressing will cover the wound until it heals. Depending on the complexity of your condition, the duration of the procedure may range between 2 and 6 hours.
Patients diagnosed with peripheral artery disease (atherosclerosis) can benefit from lower extremity bypass surgery. However, this procedure is only recommended when distressing symptoms such as pain and non-healing ulcers accompany one’s condition, as well as when non-invasive surgical approaches failed to alleviate them. Patients who cannot undergo less invasive treatments such as stenting or angioplasty are also eligible for lower extremity bypass surgery.
Some of the most significant benefits of this procedure are:
Following your lower extremity bypass surgery, you will be moved to the intensive care unit, where your vital signs will be constantly monitored. The entire hospitalization time may vary between 3 and 10 days, depending on how fast you seem to recover and whether complications occur. Pain is absolutely normal for a few days or weeks after the intervention and you will be given pain relieving medicine, which will alleviate it. In addition to pain killers, you will also receive antibiotics to prevent postoperative infections and antiplatelet medication such as aspirin, which will decrease the risk of blood clots forming.
During your hospital stay, you will be intubated to promote an effective and safe recovery. Thus, you will notice some or all of the following tubes attached to your body, which will usually be taken out after several days:
Full recovery is generally achieved in approximately 2 months. However, it is highly recommended to pay special attention to the following aspects, which can speed up your recovery process to a great extent: