Peripheral Vascular Disease (cont.)

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Surgery

Surgical treatment for peripheral artery disease involves either bypass surgery performed by a vascular surgeon or endarterectomy. Indications for surgical treatment of peripheral artery disease include lesions that, for anatomical reasons, may be difficult to treat by angioplasty. Examples include lesions covering long segments of a vessel, vessels with multiple narrowed areas, or long areas of narrowing. Bypass surgery involves using a vein from your body or a portion of synthetic vessel (known as grafts) to create a detour around the blockage. One end of the graft is sewn to the damaged artery above the blockage and the other end is sewn below the blocked area. Blood flow is then able to bypass the area of narrowing or blockage Bypass surgery is a major surgical procedure requiring general anesthesia and a hospital stay.

Endarterectomy is a procedure in which the surgeon cleans out plaque buildup inside the artery of the affected leg or arm.

REFERENCES:

Stephens, Everett, et al. "Peripheral Vascular Disease." MedlinePlus. 15 March 2010. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/761556-overview>.

American Heart Association. <http://www.heart.org>.

Previous contributing editor: Dennis Lee, MD.


Last Editorial Review: 6/28/2012


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