What recovery can I expect from peripheral artery disease bypass surgery?

If you have peripheral artery disease (PAD), bypass surgery is one option for restoring blood flow to your legs or, in some cases, your arms. In PAD, blockages are present in the arteries that supply the legs, feet, or arms with blood. In cases where a lengthy portion of an artery becomes narrowed or if a vessel is severely blocked, bypass surgery may be recommended. Blood flow is restored by rerouting the blood around the blockage through use of a new blood vessel (from elsewhere in the body or synthetic) called a graft. The goal for blockages in the legs is to reduce leg pain and the risk of losing a leg or foot due to severe narrowing of the arteries. 
Immediately after surgery, you will be monitored to ensure that blood is flowing to your legs and that your vital signs are good. You will be given medicine to control pain. After a few days, when you are able to walk on your own, you will be released from the hospital. By immediately restoring blood flow, the leg pain that occurs with exertion will be greatly improved. 
After you leave the hospital, it is very important to take all the medications your doctor has prescribed and follow all instructions for caring for your incision. 
It is also vital that you make all your follow-up visits to the doctor to ensure that blood is flowing properly to your legs. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.