For most people, the prognosis following peripheral artery bypass is good. Frequently, symptoms disappear and the ulcers may heal. In other cases, symptom improvement may be a slow process. Results of surgery vary depending on location of the blockage, size of the blood vessel and the presence of blockages in other arteries.
Some of the risks involved with any surgery include allergic reactions to anesthesia, breathing problems, heart attack, stroke, and Infection. In addition, peripheral artery bypass itself has the following risks:
- The surgical cut may open, resulting in blood loss
- The bypass may not work
- Damage to nearby nerves causing pain, numbness or sexual problems
- Excess bleeding during surgery
- Need for a second surgery
- Need for amputation
Follow-up care with visits to the doctor help monitor healing, ensure effectiveness of surgery and help with adjustment of medications. At these times, the doctor can evaluate physical ability and recommend how much activity is best.
Surviving the underlying peripheral artery disease (PAD), and minimizing the potential for developing new blockages that may require additional surgery, largely involves making lifestyle changes. These include stopping smoking; eating a diet low in fat, cholesterol, salt and sugar; following a sensible weight loss plan; and being physically active.