Why am I being offered this operation ?
What will it involve ?
You may also have a scan to assess the vein in the leg for suitability as a graft, but if it has previously been removed, or is too small or too varicose then a plastic graft may be required.
Cuts will be made in the leg over the pulse in the groin and around the inside of the knee, if the vein is being used then a longer incision is needed to achieve this. The incisions will be closed with stitches or clips at the end of the operation.
What will happen in hospital ?
After the operation you will wake up in the recovery suite, and remain there for a couple of hours until the team are happy to move you back to the ward.
The drips and catheter will be removed as you begin to emobilise. You should be sitting out of bed on day 2 and walking to the bathroom at about 4 days. Most people are looking to go home at about 7 days.
What will happen after I am discharged ?
Will I need further treatment ?
You will not need further clinic appointments but will get regular 6 month checkups in the vascular laboratory for about 18 months. A small number of patients get excessive scarring at the graft, which can produce significant narrowing again. We can usually avoid the graft failing by picking this up on the scans.
You will need to be on aspirin or something similar for ever, and should never smoke again. Both of these measures are important to prevent the graft blocking off, in which case your leg may be more severely affected and we can’t always save it.