Surgical Bypass


Surgical bypass is used to treat peripheral artery disease (PAD) and is particularly effective in treating extensive artery blockages.  

PAD develops when the vessels in your legs become blocked by fatty plaque buildup (atherosclerosis). This restricts the flow of blood and oxygen from the heart to the legs. The result is discomfort or pain in the hips, buttocks, thighs, knees, shins, or upper feet when you walk. Untreated, PAD may place you at a greater risk for a heart attack or stroke, or even limb loss.

Atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries) is the primary cause of peripheral artery disease. This risk increases over the age of 50, with men at a higher risk than women. Other factors that increase the chances of developing PAD include:

  • Being over 30 percent over your ideal weight

  • Diabetes

  • High blood pressure

  • High cholesterol or triglycerides

  • High levels of homocysteine (an amino acid)

  • Smoking

Based on the results from testing using ultrasound and/or an arteriogram, surgical bypass may be recommended. A graft made of a synthetic tube or blood vessel from another part of your body creates a new path for blood to flow around the blockage, increasing the amount of blood the leg and foot receive.

Two common types of surgical bypass are the femoral popliteal bypass and distal bypass. 

Femoral popliteal bypass – This bypass is used when the femoral artery of the upper leg is blocked. A graft reroutes blood around the blockage in the femoral artery to the popliteal artery behind the knee. 

Distal bypass – This surgical bypass is needed when the blockage is located lower down the leg or near the knee. The graft is attached to the artery above the blockage and reroutes the blood to an open artery further down the leg.

After a surgical bypass, a hospital stay of two to seven days will be required. Once you return home, recovery should take about one to four weeks, and a follow-up visit with Vascular Tyler will be scheduled two weeks after your surgery. 

Here are some guidelines to follow during your recovery:

  • Avoid lifting objects more than 10 pounds for at least a week or otherwise instructed

  • Do not drive until cleared to do so

  • Keep the incision or puncture site clean and dry

  • Take medications as prescribed

  • Walk regularly to improve recovery

If you experience any of the following, contact Vascular Tyler:

  • Blood in the urine or inability to urinate

  • Changes in color or temperature of your legs or feet

  • Fever

  • Problems at the incision site, such as swelling, increasing pain, redness, or warmth


The Patient Experience

Dr. Robbins looked at my imaging and made an appointment that same day for me to come in. At Vascular Tyler, it’s just like a family environment every time I come in here. If I have to go the doctor’s (office), this is where I want to go.
L. Cunningham, Patient
We don’t want to spend a whole lot of time with rehabilitation or in some sort of medical facility, so it was great discovering that there’s only little or no downtime. It was a matter of hours instead of days or weeks.
B. Finch, Patient
I had excruciating pain and was told I needed a knee replacement. But Dr. Robbins said I just need vascular surgery. They gave me relief from my pain, and they’re kind and interested in you as a patient and a person. This is the place to come.
M. Finch, Patient

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