Peripheral arterial disease (PAD), in which an artery in the leg or arm becomes narrowed by plaque deposits, can impede limb functioning by restricting blood flow. It also increases a patient’s risk for heart attack, stroke, and other events. To treat PAD, Temple vascular surgeons may perform a peripheral arterial bypass, creating a detour around the narrowed artery. The bypass is made with a graft—either a synthetic tube or part of a vein transplanted from elsewhere in the patient's body; surgeons often create grafts from the vein that runs between the groin and the foot.
In this open procedure, the surgeon makes an incision over the length of the blockage in the artery. One end of the bypass vein is sewn into the artery below the blockage. The other end of the bypass vein is then directed through the surrounding muscle and attached to the artery above the blockage, creating a new channel through which blood can flow freely.