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Lower Extremity Arterial Disease

Lower Extremity Arterial Disease

Fatty tissue called plaque builds up in the lining of the lower legs' arteries. When this happens, blood flow slows, leading to discomfort, cramps or pain while walking. Depending on your condition, Rex Vascular Specialists may perform a balloon angioplasty/stenting or bypass surgery.

Angioplasty and Bypass Surgery: What should I expect?

Before either procedure

  • Talk to your physician about which medicines, supplements, or vitamins you should take the day of the procedure.
  • Do not have anything to eat or drink after midnight unless told to by your doctor.
  • You may take any needed medications with a small sip of water.

Angioplasty

During the procedure

  • A smaller incision means this surgery usually takes less time. You may be able to go home and resume your regular schedule sooner.
  • When discharged from the hospital, your physician will give you information for the next few days.
  • You shouldn't lift anything heavier than 10 pounds.
  • You can probably shower and bathe the day after the procedure

After the procedure

  • We will ask for to rest in bed for a few hours after surgery.
  • A smaller incision means this surgery usually takes less time. You may be able to go home and resume your regular schedule sooner.
  • When discharged from the hospital, your physician will give you information for the next few days.
  • You shouldn't lift anything heavier than 10 pounds.
  • You can probably shower and bathe the day after the procedure, but check with your physician.

Bypass surgery

During the procedure

  • A vein is harvested from another area of the body or a man-made graft is used. It is attached to either side of the blocked area to channel the blood around the obstruction.
  • After the graft is put in, the doctor usually leaves the blocked section in place.
  • The incision is closed and you will be sent to the recovery room until you wake up.

After the procedure

  • You should plan on staying in the hospital between 3 and 8 days.
  • After you leave the recovery room, you will go a bed in the hospital.
  • You will start walking soon with the help of nurses and physical therapists.
  • When you leave the hospital you should try to walk as much as possible and remain active.
  • You should not drive while taking pain medication.

After both operations, you may be started on blood thinning medications. Follow your doctor's instructions on taking them, and on diet restrictions and follow-up appointments.

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