Tibial bypass for limb salvage using polytetrafluoroethylene and a distal vein patch

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of Vascular Surgery








Objective: Tibial artery bypass for limb salvage may be required in patients without adequate autogenous vein. The interposition of venous tissue at the distal anastomosis has been advocated to improve the results of prosthetic grafts to tibial arteries. Having reported on technical feasibility and an early experience with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and a distal vein patch (DVP), we examine the results of this technique with 4-year follow-up. Methods: From July 1993 to July 1999, 514 tibial bypass grafts were performed, with 80 bypass grafts in 79 patients with PTFE/DVP as the conduit. Patient demographics included 39 men and 40 women (mean age, 67 years); 42 had diabetes mellitus (53%), 16 had renal failure (20%), and 48 had Eagle criteria for increased cardiac risk (60%). Indications for revascularization were rest pain in 39 (49%) and tissue loss in 41 (51%). Lack of adequate vein resulted from previous failed lower extremity bypass graft (47 [59%]), previous coronary bypass graft (21 [26%]), unsuitable vein (8 [ 10%]), and absent vein due to ligation and stripping (4 [5%]). Follow-up ranged from 1 to 48 months. Results are reported as primary patency or limb salvage ± SE. Results: Bypass grafts originated from the common femoral artery (40 [50%]), the superficial femoral artery (6 [8%]), and the external iliac artery (34 [43%]). Recipient arteries included anterior tibial (17 [21%]), posterior tibial (28 [35%]), and peroneal (35 [44%]). Four-year primary patency and limb salvage rates were 62.89% ± 10.6% and 79.21% ± 8.45%, respectively. There was a 24% mortality rate during the follow-up period. Acute failure occurred in 7 grafts with 5 immediate amputations and 2 revisions. A total of 17 grafts failed during the follow-up period, leading to 11 amputations. Conclusion: The DVP technique allows PTFE bypass grafts to tibial arteries with acceptable long-term patency and limb salvage.

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