Before his aortobifemoral bypass with Jon M. Wesley, M.D., Raymond could barely walk 100 feet without having pain in his legs. Days at Disney World with his family and cruises abroad with his wife required frequent stops to rest his legs thanks to the chronic discomfort.
“The bypass completely solved that problem. I have no pain in the legs anymore,” says Raymond with a smile.
“Surgery can be tough on the body, so we always exhaust every other avenue before making the decision to move forward with a surgical procedure,” says Dr. Wesley. “When it is the only remaining route for treatment, and we have thoroughly discussed the pros and cons with the patient, we proceed.”
For Raymond, when he could no longer walk or enjoy day-to-day living without some concessions, the next option was to remove the aorta and blockage through an aortobifemoral bypass.
What is an Aortobifemoral Bypass?
Atherosclerosis is the buildup of fatty deposits in the artery wall. When this occurs in the arteries to the legs, it is called peripheral arterial disease (PAD).
“An aortobifemoral bypass surgery is used to repair the narrowed or blocked blood vessels,” says Dr. Wesley.
Since surgery is generally the last option for treatment, aortobifemoral bypass is only considered when the disease is causing significant symptoms or when loss of limb is a concern.
During the procedure, general anesthesia is used. The procedure itself generally takes three to five hours, but the preparation and recovery time can add several hours.
In order to bypass the blocked blood vessel, blood is redirected through a graft made of synthetic material. The artificial blood vessel is formed into a Y shape to allow the blood to travel around (bypass) the diseased areas. The results of this procedure restore blood flow, alleviate painful symptoms and prevent loss of limbs.
Results of an Aortobifemoral Bypass
“We did the bypass and within a week, 10 days, and I’m up walking,” says Raymond. “It’s a life saving situation for me!”
A month after his aortobifemoral bypass, Raymond visited a Christmas Market in Europe where he walked over eight miles in one day with no pain or discomfort.
Raymond could not be more grateful for the outcome of this experience.
“It’s just a complete life change for me.”
Raymond was especially thankful for Dr. Wesley’s guidance and advice throughout his treatment.
“You listen to him and do what he tells you to do, you’re going to be in good shape,” he says. “He’s a personal fella that really cares about you.”