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Axillobifemoral Bypass

What is it?

This happens when,the main artery(blood pipe) which carries blood from your heart down to your legs are blocked near your tummy button. When there is not enough blood circulation, which causes pain in the legs, and its risks are high with infection, known as necrosis(where the tissue of leg goes dead and results in loosing the limb.

The arteries which run below the blockage have better shape,and can have a healthier blood flow. The supply of blood can run from an artery just below the collar bone to the arteries in your leg in the groin,this procedure can be done by threading a new artificial plastic artery under the skin from the collar artery to the groin arteries. The doctor sometimes uses a new artery to put down each side and a Y- shaped artery is used to take blood from an artery under the collar bone to both groin arteries.

The doctor will explain the exact procedure, as to how it work , so that your arm and head are not starved of blood during this operation. You can feel a new artery beating, but this shouldn't be a problem.

The operation

The operation will be performed under general anaesthesia, which will make you sleep during the operation. Once the cut is made, into the skin below the collar bone and a cut is made in each groin to find the arteries. A passage is created under the skin to make a path for the new artificial artery. The doctor would also make an incision under the bottom of the ribs where a new artery run, these arteries are joined and the cuts are stitched up. After the operation is complete, you should notice that you have warm feet and the pain is reduced pain within 24 hours,if all goes well, you should be able to the leave the hospital after a week.

Recovery and after-care

After the operation you will be put in and high intensive care unit, overnight, where you will be monitored, to make sure everything is alight, and you will given something to eat and drink after the operation and will be probably return to the ward the following day.

A catheter would be fixed in your bladder for a day or two until you are able to be mobile, and are expected to come home.

Risks and complications

As it is a known fact, that with major surgeries , there are also risks and complications, related to anaesthetic, or even related to the operation.

These operations, usually put a strain on the heart, and most patient will have some sort of cardia testing before the operation to make sure, that the heart is strong and stable. The most risk & complication is a heart attack, which could be fatal. The overall mortality of an operation is around about 3%, but usually varies widely depending upon the pre-operative fitness and the decision of the surgeon, who would be able to give you a clearer picture of your personal risk level as well as if this is considered fatal.

The other complication, which may occur could be a strain on the kidneys, chest or wound infection, and post -operative bleeding, which can lead to deep vein thrombosis, or graft thrombosis, which could eventually lead to the loss of the leg.

The graft which is done, can rarely get infected or blocked,which may required a series of antibiotics for further surgery. Young men should discuss with their surgeons, the possibility and the impact of the operation on the sex. Considering that these complications occur after the operation, it could prolong your stay at the hospital and should not have any long term consequences in other activities.