Microscope-aided pedal bypass is an effective and low-risk operation to salvage the ischemic foot

Am J Surg. 1994 Aug;168(2):76-84. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9610(94)80040-5.


Background: The aim of this study was to determine the current operative risks of the pedal bypass procedure, its durability, and the factors affecting long-term outcome.

Methods: We prospectively observed 96 patients who consecutively underwent 100 pedal bypasses using autogenous vein grafts for chronic critical ischemia. Of the 100 limbs, 91 had ischemic ulcers or gangrene, and 9 produced rest pain only. Sixty-four patients were diabetic, 21 had renal failure, and 36 had coronary artery disease. Nonreversed saphenous vein grafts were used most frequently (68 translocated, 13 in situ), followed by composite (13) and reversed vein grafts (6). Fifty-two long grafts originated from the iliac or femoral arteries, and 48 short grafts originated from the popliteal or tibial arteries. For the 100 procedures, 102 distal anastomoses were performed--68 to the dorsalis pedis, 8 to the distal posterior tibial, 10 to the common plantar, 2 to the medial plantar, 9 to the lateral plantar, 4 to the lateral tarsal, and 1 to the first dorsal metatarsal arteries--with the aid of an operating microscope.

Results: No patient died during the perioperative period. Two had hemodynamically insignificant myocardial infarctions. Wound complications developed in 12 patients--infection in 7 and hematoma in 5. There were 10 early graft failures, 6 of which could be salvaged, and 96 grafts were patent at dismissal. Mean follow-up was 2.1 years (range 1 month to 6.4 years). Postoperative surveillance identified 33 failed or failing grafts, 16 of which were successfully revised. At 3 years, cumulative primary and secondary patency rates were 60% and 69%, respectively. Factors correlating with increased secondary patency were intraoperative flow rate > or = 50 mL/min (P = 0.004) and diabetes (P < 0.05). Major amputations were performed on 17 limbs. The cumulative foot salvage rate at 3 years was 79%.

Conclusion: Pedal bypass is a safe, effective, and durable procedure. It should be considered even for high-risk patients with critical limb ischemia before major amputation is contemplated.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arteries / surgery
  • Arteriovenous Shunt, Surgical*
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Foot / blood supply*
  • Foot / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Ischemia / complications
  • Ischemia / etiology
  • Ischemia / physiopathology
  • Ischemia / surgery*
  • Male
  • Microsurgery*
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / mortality
  • Postoperative Complications / physiopathology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prosthesis Failure
  • Reoperation
  • Risk Factors
  • Saphenous Vein / transplantation
  • Survival Rate
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Patency
  • Wound Healing