Bypass surgery is an open surgical procedure where a piece of healthy blood vessel is attached to either side of the blocked peripheral artery, creating a new path for blood to follow, effectively bypassing the blockage. This surgery is performed to relieve the symptoms of blocked or narrowed arteries due to peripheral arterial disease (PAD). The blockages associated with PAD can occur in various parts of the body but are common in the abdomen and legs, causing poor circulation of blood to the lower extremities. This is a traditional open surgery. The surgeon will make an incision in the patient’s body near the blockage to access the artery. Once the artery is exposed, the surgeon will place clamps on either side of the blocked section, then sew either a healthy blood vessel taken from elsewhere in the body, or a special tube called a graft, to either side of the blockage. Once the vessel is in place, the clamps are released and the blood flow by-passes the blockage.
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a circulatory issue wherein narrowed arteries restrict blood flow to the limbs. This is more common in the lower legs as the symptoms may be more noticeable. Essentially, the limbs do not receive enough blood to keep up with the demands of day to day use resulting in pain when walking. However, the condition can also reduce blood flow to the heart and brain. PAD is usually a sign of the buildup of fatty deposits or plaque in the arteries. Common symptoms include:
PAD can be caused by behavioral choices including poor diet, limited exercise and smoking. It can also be hereditary. Some of the risk factors associated with the disease include:
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