The mid-thigh loop arteriovenous graft: patient selection, technique, and results

Am Surg. 2006 Sep;72(9):825-8. doi: 10.1177/000313480607200912.


As patient longevity on hemodialysis has increased, surgeons are increasingly challenged to provide vascular access to patients who have exhausted options for access in the upper extremity. A common operation performed on these patients has been the loop thigh arteriovenous (AV) graft based off the common femoral vessels. However, there are several disadvantages of placing prosthetic grafts in proximity to the groin. Our group has modified the thigh loop AV graft procedure by moving the anastomoses to the mid-superficial femoral artery and vein. The advantage of this location is that it preserves the proximal femoral vessels for graft revision and avoids the node-bearing tissue and overhanging panniculus of the groin. The purpose of this study was to review our technique, patient selection, and experience with the mid-thigh loop AV graft procedure. Between 2001 and 2003, 46 mid-thigh loop AV grafts were placed in 38 patients. Patient hospital, office, and dialysis clinic records were reviewed. The primary and secondary patency for AV grafts in this study by life-table was 40 per cent and 68 per cent at 1 year and 18 per cent and 43 per cent at 2 years. There were 10 infections (21%) requiring graft removal. Four patients underwent subsequent placement of a proximal loop thigh AV graft after mid-thigh graft failure. Patient survival was 86 per cent at 1 year and 82 per cent at 2 years. There were no patient deaths related to thigh graft placement. Our results with the mid-thigh loop AV graft compare favorably with published results for thigh loop AV grafts. The procedure preserves the proximal vasculature, permitting graft revision or subsequent proximal graft placement, and may be associated with fewer infectious complications. The mid-thigh loop AV graft procedure should be considered before placement of a thigh loop AV graft based off the common femoral artery and vein.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arteriovenous Shunt, Surgical / adverse effects
  • Arteriovenous Shunt, Surgical / methods*
  • Female
  • Femoral Artery / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology*
  • Prostheses and Implants
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thigh / blood supply
  • Vascular Patency