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Peripheral Bypass Surgery

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Peripheral bypass surgery is a treatment option for patients suffering from peripheral vascular disease, or PVD. Peripheral bypass grafting restores blood flow to the appendages similar to how coronary artery bypass procedures restore blood flow to the heart. When the veins of the abdomen and legs become blocked and blood cannot flow to the feet, patients can experience symptoms ranging from intermittent pain to serious tissue problems like gangrene.

Peripheral bypass surgery may be needed when plaque and atherosclerosis harden and congest the arteries.  Known as PVD, peripheral vascular disease causes achiness and burning in the legs upon exertion. As muscles atrophy due to insufficient blood flow and oxygen, open wounds that do not heal, skin discoloration and black sores can occur. If left untreated the affected limb can contract gangrene and require amputation. In bypass surgery, your vascular surgeon uses a synthetic graft or harvests a vein from another part of the body to redirect blood and restore function. Grafting a patient’s own vein is most ideal as the graft is sturdier and the risk of infection is reduced, however great advancements are being made in artificial grafting.

Peripheral bypass surgery will relieve the pressure on arteries and restore blood flow, but is important to know that atherosclerosis can reoccur in the newly placed vein. Patients undergoing peripheral bypass surgery should follow all physician recommendations to limit the reocurrence of atherosclerosis. Healthy lifestyle choices, like getting regular exercise and eating a balanced diet can help prevent further vascular blockage. Additionally bypass surgery is not the only treatment option for peripheral vascular disease, but it is extremely effective. Other treatment options may include angioplasty, stenting and atherectomy. The vascular specialists at Cardiac Surgery Associates of Tampa can recommend the best treatment options for you.

If you have questions about peripheral bypass surgery or treatment options for peripheral vascular disease, please contact our office online or at 813.910.0027.