What is a surgical bypass for atherosclerosis/PAD/PVD?

A surgical bypass reroutes blood flow around a blocked blood vessel by creating a new pathway for blood flow using a graft.

Why is this procedure performed? Why do I need this procedure?

The goal of treatment is to re-direct the blood flow in the artery to bypass a blockage. You may need this procedure if your arteries become too narrowed or blocked from plaque inside the artery walls. If arteries are blocked, blood cannot get through to nourish the tissues, causing the muscles of the lower extremities to cramp and lose strength. In severe cases, you may develop pain or develop ulcers on your feet.

Each patient is evaluated, and treatment will be individualized for the patient's circumstances.

Where is the procedure performed and who performs this procedure?

This procedure is performed in the hospital surgical suite by a vascular surgeon.

What are the risks and potential complications of the procedure?

Your doctor will discuss the specific risks and potential benefits of the recommended procedure with you.

Bypass surgery usually has no complications, but there may be a risk of injury to the blood vessel, mild leg swelling or wound complications. Your vascular surgeon will discuss the important risks and benefits with you.

Special precautions are taken to decrease these risks, and there may be other possible risks. When you meet with your doctor, please ask questions to make sure you understand the risks of the procedure and why the procedure is recommended. Read about outcomes for bypass surgery at Cleveland Clinic.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy