Skip to Main Content
Sign in to myUHN Patient Portal

Aortobifemoral and Axillobifemoral Bypass

Main Page Content

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​In this Guide

If you've been scheduled for an Aortobifemoral or Axillo​bifemoral bypass operation, you probably have some questions. Our guide offers the answers you're looking for, and helps you prepare for your operation.​

About the Operation

Your surgeon has recommended a bypass operation because you have blockage in the abdominal aorta and/or iliac arteries.

This operation involves creating a new tube for blood to flow to your leg, bypassing (avoiding) the section of the artery that is narrow or blocked. The new tube is called a bypass graft.

Aortobifemoral Bypass

Aortobifemoral Bypass: Your surgeon makes incisions (cuts) in your abdomen (stomach area) and in your groin area. A fabric Y-shaped tube is then inserted in the abdomen. The single end of the Y is sewn into the aorta. The two split ends are sewn below the femoral artery, bypassing the section that is narrow or blocked. The blood now flows through the graft, improving blood flow to your legs, feet and toes. ​

Axillobifemoral Bypass

Axillobifemoral Bypass: Your surgeon makes an incision (cut) near your shoulder and in one or both of your groins. A flexible plastic tube, called a bypass graft, is inserted, which connects the axillary artery in your shoulder to the femoral arteries in your legs. Now the blood flows through the graft, bypassing the blocked section of the artery.

​In both operations, the incisions are closed either with stitches under the skin that dissolve or by staples (metal clips) that will need to be removed about 14 days after the operation.

How long will I stay in the hospital?

How long you stay in hospital will depend on the type of operation you need and how well you are recovering. We will discuss your recovery each day and help you prepare to go home.

Download a printable version of the full guide:
Aortobifemoral and Axillo​bifemoral bypass surgery​​​​