The femoral artery starts in the lower abdomen and runs down into the thigh. This artery delivers blood to your legs. When the femoral artery reaches the back of the knee it becomes the popliteal artery. When there is a blockage in this artery, the circulation of blood to your leg is reduced which may cause pain in your calf when you walk, and is known as intermittent claudication.
This operation should allow you to walk further without pain. This surgery is also recommended when the circulation is so poor that your foot is painful at rest or at night. Another symptom indicating a possible blockage in the artery may be leg ulcers or black areas of dead skin. In such cases, this operation can be used to prevent the amputation of your leg below or above the knee.
A femoral popliteal bypass is an operation to bypass the blocked portion of the artery in the leg using a piece of another blood vessel.
Before your operation
Before bypass surgery, there are a number of tests that need to be done. These are of two types: those to assess your general fitness and those to assess your suitability for different types of bypass surgery.
Tests of fitness and suitability are normally done before a decision to operate is made. They normally include:
An CT scan of the blocked artery
Ultrasound assessment of the vein which will normally be used to perform the bypass