An arterial bypass surgery routes blood flow around an area of blockage caused by peripheral arterial disease (PAD). The surgery does not cure the disease or remove the blockage, rather, think of a bypass as a detour for your blood around the blockage and onto the extremities or organs that so desperately need it. Interestingly enough, natural vein grafts last longer than synthetic vein grafts.
The procedure involves making a small incision in the blocked artery, sewing the graft from above the blockage to a blood vessel below the blockage and initiating a new route for blood flow. You will be under general anesthesia, so there will be no pain during the operation.
Need more information? Visit the Society for Vascular Surgery’s Patient Resources section here.