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Aorto-femoral Bypass

Indication: To improve the circulation to the legs in select patients with peripheral vascular disease.

Preoperative Evaluation: First your doctor performs a complete history and physical exam. Then the initial study is a lower extremity arterial exam, usually performed before and after treadmill exercise. Further information about the location of blockages in the abdominal or leg vessels is obtained with an arteriogram. This X-ray study of the arteries in the abdomen and leg uses dye to allow the blockages to be seen and photographed. A stress test may be ordered as well. This is to be sure that the heart is strong enough to withstand surgery.

Procedure: An upside-down "Y" shaped graft (artificial blood vessel made of Dacron) is used to bring circulation from above the blockages (in the abdominal or leg arteries) down to the femoral arteries in the groin.

Length of Stay: One to three day stay in the intensive care unit (ICU) followed by four to six days in a regular room.

Recovery: Four to six weeks with no driving for 10-to-14 days and no heavy lifting (more than 15 lbs.) for six weeks.

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