Swelling of the legs after a bypass operation

Femoropopliteal Bypass Surgery (Leg Artery Bypass Surgery)

In this operation, parts of the vein orartificial tubes to create a bypass of the blocked main artery of the legs. Blockage of arteries in the legs, as a rule, is caused by the accumulation of plaque (plaques) on their internal walls. This accumulation is called peripheral arterial disease (PAD).

Causes of leg artery bypass grafting

  • To restore proper blood supply to the lower leg;
  • To relieve leg pain caused by a blocked artery;
  • To avoid amputation of the leg.

Possible complications of femoropopliteal bypass surgery

If surgery is planned, you need to be aware of possible complications that may include:

  • Bleeding;
  • Blood clots (eg, blood clots, which causes blockage of the bypass location);
  • Infection;
  • Adverse reactions to anesthesia;
  • Damage to organs;
  • Need for limb amputation;
  • Heart attack or death.

How is femoral-popliteal shunting performed?

The following procedures may be prescribed or carried out:

  • Blood tests;
  • An electrocardiogram is a test that records heart activity by measuring an electric current through the heart muscle;
  • Chest X-ray is a test that uses X-rays to take pictures of structures inside the body;
  • Ultrasound is a test that uses sound waves to see images of organs within the body.
  • Consult your doctor about medications. A week before the operation, you may be asked to stop taking certain medications:
    • Anti-inflammatory drugs (eg, aspirin)
    • Blood thinners, such as clopidogrel (Plavix) or warfarin;
  • As directed by a doctor, you need to take antibiotics to prevent infection;
  • Organize care at home after surgery;
  • In the evening before the operation you can eat a light supper. Do not eat or drink after midnight.
  • General anesthesia (almost always) - blocks pain and immerses the patient in a state of sleep during the operation;
  • Spinal anesthesia is the area from the chest and is less anesthetized. Provided in the form of injections in the back.

Description of procedure of shunting the artery of the foot

The doctor makes a cut in the skin on the leg. Through this incision the doctor removes the veins that will be used to bypass. If the vein can not be used, then artificial veins are used.

Next, a cut will be made in the groin to reach the femoral artery. The doctor will make another incision in the back of the knee to reach another, popliteal artery.

The doctor will use the clamps to blockthe flow of blood through these two arteries. One end of the bypass vein will be sewed into the femoral artery, and the other end will be sewn into the popliteal artery. After the end of the procedure, the blood will be returned through the transplant to check the new vessel for leaks. If no leakage is detected, the doctor completely removes the clamps. This will allow blood to flow through the transplant. The doctor closes the incision with sutures.

In some cases, the vein on the thigh will beused as a graft without its extraction. In this procedure, part of the vein will be separated from the main vein with a cutting tool. The vein will then be sewn to the arteries to form a transplant.

  • In the first 24-48 hours through the dropper, liquids and painkillers can be injected;
  • You may need to wear an oxygen mask 10-12 hours after the operation;
  • A needle for epidural anesthesia can be left in place for the first 3-5 days to reduce pain. Once it is removed, the doctor will give you pain medication.

How long will a femoral-popliteal bypass surgery take?

Femur-hamstrings bypass - will it hurt?

Pain can be felt for weeks or even months. Ask your doctor about painkillers to reduce pain. Keep in mind that the leg can remain swollen for 2-3 months.

Average stay in hospital

Care after femoropopliteal bypass surgery

During recovery, the hospital may be provided with:

  • In the first 1-2 days, use cold compresses to reduce pain and swelling. The nurse will apply a cold compress to the area of ​​the operation for 15-20 minutes;
  • You can wear shoes or special socks to prevent blood clots;
  • You may be asked to use a stimulating spirometer to breathe deeply and often cough. This will improve lung function;
  • The incisions will be inspected to detect signs of infection in time.

When you return home, follow these steps to ensure a normal recovery:

  • Do not drive for 4-6 weeks, or until pain and swelling pass;
  • If the doctor advises, you need to walk every day. Walking will make the legs stronger. Gradually increase the distance traveled;
  • Work with a physiotherapist;
  • Gradually return to your daily activities;
  • When sitting, keep your feet in a raised position;
  • Place the pillow under your feet while you sleep;
  • Ask the doctor when it is safe to take a shower, swim, or expose the operation site to water;
  • Keep the wound dry. Try not to use talc or powder;
  • Avoid fatty foods;
  • Do not smoke. Smoking can interfere with healing;
  • Be sure to follow the doctor's instructions.

Communication with a doctor after a femoral-popliteal bypass

After discharge from the hospital, you need to see a doctor if the following symptoms occur:

  • Signs of infection, including fever and chills;
  • Severe pain in the leg;
  • Legs become cold, pale, blue, tingling or numbness;
  • Redness, swelling, pain, bleeding, or discharge from the surgical incision;
  • Nausea, vomiting, or constipation;
  • Pain that does not go away after taking prescribed pain medication;
  • Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain;
  • Dizziness and weakness;
  • Pain and / or swelling of the legs, calves and feet;
  • Pain, burning, frequent urination or persistent bleeding in the urine;
  • New painful symptoms.