A peripheral artery bypass is a procedure that uses a graft to reroute blood around a blockage in a peripheral artery (see fig. 1). Atherosclerotic plaques can reduce blood flow to the limbs and other parts of the body (see fig. 2). Plaques can also rupture, causing a blood clot to form and completely block the artery at the rupture site (see fig. 3). This graft bypasses the narrowed or blocked areas restoring blood flow. Synthetic, arterial or venous grafts can be used in this procedure (see fig. 4).
Figure 1: Narrowing (plaque) in the femoral artery caused by peripheral artery disease.
Figure 2: Artery with plaque that has enlarged reducing blood flow.
Figure 3: Artery with plaque that has ruptured. The ruptured plaque has caused a blood clot to form, blocking blood flow through the artery.
Figure 4: Bypass graft in place restoring blood flow.
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