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 bi femoral 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 or mini-laparotomy techniques. They use much smaller incisions.

  • 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 control with the medicines you were given after surgery, or which persist for more than two days after discharge from the hospital
    • Pain that you cannot control with the medicines you have been given
    • Pain, burning, urgency or frequency of urination, or persistent bleeding in the urine
    • Cough, shortness of breath or chest pain
    • Your leg becomes cold, pale, blue, tingly, or numb
    • Pain or swelling in your legs, calves, or feet

    In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.

  • Definition

    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
    bi
    femoral 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
    or mini-laparotomy techniques. They use much smaller incisions.

    Aortofemoral Bypass Graft
    Aorta Femoral Bypass
    Artificial grafts create a path so that blood can move around the blockage.
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • What to Expect

  • Reasons for Procedure


    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 damage

    This surgery can restore blood flow to the legs.

  • 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

    Before your procedure, talk to your doctor about ways to manage factors that may increase your risk of complications such as:

    • Smoking
    • Drinking
    • Chronic disease such as diabetes or obesity