Peripheral Bypass | Loyola Medicine

Peripheral Bypass

Advanced Vascular Treatment for Severe Artery Obstructions

Peripheral bypass surgery is one of the many vascular treatments provided by the expert vascular surgeons at Loyola Medicine. Peripheral bypass surgery is used to treat peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the hardening and narrowing of the arteries due to the buildup of plaque. 

The buildup of plaque in an artery can restrict normal blood flow, reducing the oxygen and nutrients that reach the lower extremities. It can also create a severe obstruction in a peripheral artery, an artery in the arm or leg or another location distant from the heart—thus creating blockages that restrict blood flow to the legs and feet. 

Rerouting the flow of blood around the blockage helps to restore circulation. The discomfort, pain and leg swelling caused by PAD can be relieved by peripheral bypass surgery. In this surgery, a graft creates blood flow diversion around the obstructed artery in order to supply blood to the extremities. 

Why Choose Loyola for Peripheral Bypass Surgery?

Loyola’s cardiology and heart surgery program is nationally recognized for our diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular conditions. We work with you to help you understand your condition and develop a treatment plan that is right for you.

What to Expect with Peripheral Bypass

Peripheral bypass surgery is performed under general anesthesia. Your Loyola surgeon will make a small incision just below the blockage and place a graft, which can be a piece of plastic tubing or a part of one of your own veins. Your surgeon then connects the graft above and below the blockage to allow blood to flow around the blockage. 

The surgery usually takes three to five hours, and patients generally stay in the hospital for several days post-surgery. Following surgery, you will feel tired for a few weeks. You may also feel mild pain along the incisions and experience mild swelling in your leg.

What are the Risks of Peripheral Bypass?

Doctors at Loyola work to mitigate the risks associated with peripheral bypass surgery. However, as with any surgical procedure, there are risks that can include:

  • Damage to a nerve that causes pain or numbness in your leg
  • Damage to nearby organs in the body
  • Embolism, a blood clot from the surgical site traveling to vessels in the heart, lungs or brain
  • Infection or opening of the surgical wound
  • Postoperative bleeding
  • Restenosis, the continuing buildup of plaque