What are the risks of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) surgery?

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There are two surgical procedures used to treat peripheral arterial disease (PAD) of the femoral arteries (located in the legs). The standard surgical procedure is femoral popliteal bypass surgery (fem-pop bypass), while a newer minimally invasive endovascular intervention is called percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) of the femoral artery.

As with any surgical procedure, complications can occur. Some possible complications may include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • myocardial infarction (heart attack)
  • cardiac arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats)
  • hemorrhage (bleeding)
  • wound infection
  • leg edema (swelling of the leg)
  • thrombosis (clot in the leg)
  • pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs)
  • bleeding at the catheter insertion site (usually the groin) after PTA procedure
  • blood clot or damage to the blood vessel at the insertion site (PTA)
  • restenosis (blockage in the blood vessels after PTA procedure)
  • nerve injury
  • graft occlusion (blockage in the graft used in bypass surgery)
Patients who are allergic to or sensitive to medications, contrast dyes, iodine, shellfish, or latex should notify their physician. There may be other risks depending upon your specific medical condition. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your physician prior to the procedure.

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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.