You have a blockage or partial blockage in the aorta, the
main blood vessel that comes from the heart or of one of its
branches in the pelvis which supplies blood to the lower
limbs. The cause is usually atherosclerosis and/or blood
clot which has formed.
COMMON SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Most patients present with pain in the legs when walking.
Rest pain in the feet may be present.
A duplex Doppler gives much information about the disease.
An angiogram is very useful too.
At times it is justified keeping an eye on the disease.
When the disease interferes with work or pleasure
activities, then it is usually time to consider surgical
Your doctor has decided to recommend surgical treatment
for your disease.
You will be checked carefully for other possible problems,
especially problems with other arteries in your body.
Do not eat or drink anything for 6 hours before the
Your doctor will advise when he needs you to be admitted.
Make sure your doctor knows what medicines you take,
especially medicines which may affect blood clotting.
This operation requires a general anaesthetic.
During the operation the blocked vessels will be bypassed
with a graft made from synthetic material.
If it is necessary you will receive a blood transfusion.
This however is usually not necessary.
The operation usually takes a few hours.
POST OPERATIVE CARE
Most patients are nursed for a period in an intensive care
Your pain will be controlled either with an epidural
catheter or other medicine.
If you do well you will start taking liquids by mouth
after a few days.
When you are well enough you will be transferred to your
normal hospital bed.
This is a serious operation and complications do
sometimes occur. You must be aware of the following possible
There is a significant chance that your sexual potency
will be affected by this operation.
Damage to abdominal organs during the operation is
possible but rare.
Occasionally this operation affects the blood supply to
the large bowel or kidneys and this can lead to further
An intra-abdominal bleed after the operation is possible.
If this happens it will necessitate further surgery.
The operation may cause problems with the blood supply to
the legs, feet or toes. If this happens amputations may be
Systemic complications like chest infections, stroke,
heart attack, deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism are
pil-aorto bi-femoral bypass graft.doc/ver1/30 July 2003
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