(Leg Artery Bypass Surgery)
|Femoropopliteal Bypass Graft|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
Reasons for Procedure
- To restore proper blood supply to your lower leg
- To relieve leg pain caused by a blocked artery
- To prevent the need for amputation
- Blood clots (such as, clots that causes blockage of bypass graft)
- Adverse reaction to the anesthesia
- Organ damage
- Need for limb amputation
- Heart attack or death
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
Talk to your doctor about your medicines. You may be asked to stop taking some medicines up to one week before the procedure, like:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs (such as aspirin)
- Blood thinners, like clopidogrel (Plavix) or warfarin (Coumadin)
- If advised by your doctor, take antibiotics to prevent an infection.
- Arrange for help at home after the surgery.
- The night before the surgery, have a light dinner. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
Description of the Procedure
Immediately After Procedure
- For the first 24-48 hours, fluids and pain medicines may be given by IV.
- You may need to wear an oxygen mask for the first 10-12 hours.
- An epidural in your back (to numb the site and relieve pain) may be left in place for the first 3-5 days. Once this is removed, your doctor will give you pain medicine.
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
- For the first 1-2 days, use cold packs to decrease pain and swelling. A nurse will apply a cold pack to the area for 15-20 minutes each time.
- You may wear boots or special socks to help prevent blood clots
- You may be asked to use an incentive spirometer, to breathe deeply, and to cough frequently. This will improve lung function.
- Your incision will be examined often for signs of infection.
- Do not drive for 4-6 weeks, or until you are pain free.
- If advised by your doctor, walk every day. Walking will make your legs stronger. Slowly increase how far you walk.
- Work with a physical therapist.
- Slowly increase the activity you do each day.
- When sitting, keep your legs elevated.
- Place a pillow under your leg when sleeping.
- Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.
- Keep the wound dry. Avoid using talc or powder.
- Avoid fatty foods.
- Do not smoke. Smoking can interfere with healing.
- Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Severe pain in the leg
- Your leg becomes cold, pale, blue, tingly, or numb
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the incision site
- Nausea, vomiting, or constipation
- Pain that you cannot control with the medicines you have been given
- Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
- Dizziness or weakness
- Pain and/or swelling in your feet, calves, or legs
- Pain, burning, urgency, frequency of urination, or persistent bleeding in the urine
- New, unexplained symptoms
American Heart Association http://www.americanheart.org
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada http://www.heartandstroke.com
MacVittie B. Mosby's Perioperative Nursing Series: Vascular Surgery. St. Louis, MO: Mosby; 1998.
Rothrock JC, Smith DA, et al. Alexander's Care of the Patient in Surgery. 11th ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby; 1999.
- Reviewer: Michael J. Fucci, DO
- Review Date: 12/2013 -
- Update Date: 01/14/2014 -