Femoro-Popliteal Bypass

Femoro-popliteal bypass surgery uses a graft blood vessel to redirect blood around a blocked main artery in your leg called the femoral artery. It improves the blood flow in your leg and can decrease leg pain, numbness and cramping.

What is a Femoro-Popliteal Bypass

A femoro-popliteal bypass is a surgery that reroutes the flow of your blood to bypass a blocked or narrowed main blood vessel in your thigh. It is also called a fem-pop bypass or a leg artery bypass.

Your femoral artery is the largest artery in your thigh. As it continues down your leg it becomes the popliteal artery. This artery supplies oxygen-rich blood to your leg. It can become blocked as plaque builds up. This is called atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis can occur in any of your leg arteries and can cause peripheral vascular disease (PVD), also known as peripheral artery disease (PAD). This can lead to serious and potentially fatal problems.

Femoro-popliteal bypass surgery is performed using a graft to bypass your blocked femoral artery. The graft can be a vein taken from another place in your leg or it can be man-made. Your surgeon will sew the graft onto your femoral and popliteal arteries so that your blood goes through this new graft vessel instead of the blocked one.

How long does femoro-popliteal bypass last?

Femoro-popliteal bypass operation usually takes between three and six hours.

Why would one need a popliteal surgery?

Popliteal bypass surgery may be performed to treat peripheral artery disease (PAD) or more specifically femoral artery disease (FAD). PAD is caused by atherosclerosis when the blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to your legs become narrowed or blocked. It is primarily the result of built-up fatty plaque in your arteries. FAD refers to your narrowed or blocked femoral artery.

Popliteal surgery may be recommended if non-surgical treatment has not improved the blood supply to your legs.

This surgery restores proper blood flow to your lower leg. It can ease leg pain caused by a blocked femoro-popliteal artery.

Femoro-popliteal bypass surgery can also prevent surgery to remove your leg.

What are the costs of a femoro-popliteal bypass?

The cost of a femoro-popliteal bypass surgery will depend on the type of graft and extent of the bypass required as well as your Ramsay hospital of choice.

You will receive a formal quotation price for your bypass surgery following a consultation with one of our expert fem pop bypass surgeons. This formal quote for your surgery will be valid for 60 days.

Ramsay is recognised by all major medical insurers. Femoro-popliteal bypass surgery is covered by most medical insurance policies. We advise you to obtain written authorisation from your insurance provider before your surgery.

We have a number of finance options if you are paying for the surgery yourself. These include:

  • Interest-free finance – requires no deposit and you can make monthly instalments at 0% interest.
  • All-inclusive Total Care – is a one-off payment at a pre-agreed price.
  • Pay as you go – a flexible funding option if costs are difficult to assess or you want to pay for your costs as and when they arise.

What is the recovery process after a femoro-popliteal bypass?

The recovery process after a femoro-popliteal bypass will be different from person to person.

You should be able to go home after about five to eight days. You are advised to take things easy for a few weeks at home.

Typically, you can expect to sit in a chair after a day, walk after three days and walk up and down stairs after five to six days.

Your bypass surgeon will advise you when you can return to work. This will depend on the extent of your surgery and your work type.

Usually, patients return to most of their normal activities after about six weeks.

Your surgeon may advise you to have blood-thinning medication to help your graft to last longer. They may also suggest exercise, physiotherapy and lifestyle changes to prevent further development of atherosclerosis.

Most people make a full recovery within 12 weeks.

Femoro-Popliteal Bypass at Ramsay Health Care

You can rest assured that if you need a femoro-popliteal bypass, you are in safe and experienced hands at Ramsay Health Care.

We work alongside skilled and expert vascular surgeons who perform this surgery regularly. They will re-route the blood flow in your femoro-popliteal artery to alleviate leg pain and prevent other serious problems from occurring.

Our fem-pop bypass surgeons work as part of a multi-disciplinary team so you can benefit from physiotherapy support and healthier lifestyle advice.

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