Skip to Main Content

Schedule certain appointments online. Get started.

Vascular Bypass Surgery

Peripheral vascular bypass uses a healthy vessel or human-made tube to reroute blood flow around narrow or blocked vessels. The team at Virginia Mason Franciscan Health performs a high volume of these procedures and maintains high success rates. Our expertise helps you feel better for years to come and avoid complications.

Peripheral bypass surgery overview

Vascular bypass surgery is often used to treat narrowing in the abdominal aorta and other blood vessels supplying the lower limbs. The bypass technique that’s best for you depends on the location of the blockage.  

Common bypass surgeries include: 

  • Aortobifemoral bypass is for a blocked aorta deep in the abdomen or pelvis. It restores blood flow to the vessel segment that branches off to the femoral arteries, which supply each leg.
  • Femoral-popliteal (fem-pop) bypass is for a blocked femoral artery in the upper leg.
  • Femoral-tibial (fem-tib) bypass is for a more extensively blocked femoral artery in the lower leg.

Peripheral vascular bypass in the Puget Sound: Why choose us?

Even if previous treatments have failed or you have other medical issues, a bypass may help restore your vascular health. You receive services from vascular disease specialists with advanced (fellowship) training and years of surgical experience. Their attention to detail leads to safe procedures and lasting symptom relief. Meet our team.  

Highlights of our program include:

  • Surgical expertise: We perform a high volume of bypass procedures, which means you can count on us for precise care. Femoral-popliteal (fem-pop) bypass is the most common. We excel in all vascular bypass types, including femoral-tibial (fem-tib) bypass, aortobifemoral and ones involving the upper extremities, neck and abdomen. 
  • Appropriate bypass surgery: Vascular bypass is used for severe narrowing that does not respond to other treatments. It’s also for people not eligible for other procedures, like angioplasty and stenting. We consider your options and recommend bypass only if we are confident it’s the right treatment for you.
  • Limb preservation: You may benefit from vascular bypass surgery if you are at risk of amputation due to advanced peripheral artery disease. The procedure is one of the many ways we restore blood flow and protect your limbs. Find out more about limb preservation.

Who is peripheral vascular bypass surgery for?

You may benefit from peripheral bypass surgery if you have severe:

Our services are also for people who have symptoms that include:

  • Claudication, discomfort in your lower limbs when walking short distances
  • Gangrene, tissue death due to lack of blood and oxygen
  • Poor blood flow that puts you at risk of amputation
  • Skin ulcers, slow-healing wounds on your legs or feet

Peripheral vascular bypass: What to expect

We perform vascular testing in our accredited lab to plan safe, effective vascular bypass surgery. Our doctors use studies that may include ultrasound to pinpoint the precise location of vessel narrowing and ensure the vein graft is healthy. If you have heart disease, we may recommend cardiac testing to ensure you are healthy enough for the procedure.

Whether you are having a fem-pop, fem-tib or aortobifemoral bypass, the procedures are similar. Surgeons temporarily halt blood flow through the blocked artery with clamps. They then attach the graft to points before and after the blockage to create a bypass. After removing the clamps, they may immediately perform an imaging test to ensure blood is flowing through it.

You can expect to stay in the hospital for a few days after your procedure. We see you in our office after discharge to ensure the graft works as expected and check for complications. After you recover, we may recommend annual checkups to monitor your vascular health. You may be able to receive a portion of these services at home via virtual visits.

Contact us

Our specialists care for patients across the Puget Sound area and beyond.