Surgical bypasses are crucial for vascular surgery. Without a surgical bypass, vascular surgery cannot take place. Whenever you undergo surgery, you cannot stop the natural process you need for life like breathing and blood flow. It is not like you can freeze everything and once the surgery is over press the unfreeze button. If it were that easy, we all would be doctors. When you are working on major arteries and veins, a bypass is created so that blood flow is not hindered. A bypass can be made in a couple of different areas of the body. The bypass is made with a synthetic graft and allows the doctor to operate without interrupting blood flow.
The vascular system is important for blood flow. The vascular system includes capillaries, veins, and arteries: capillaries being the smallest of the blood vessels and arteries being the largest. Each blood vessel carries blood to various areas of the body. The veins carry blood back to the heart. In most cases, vascular surgery is done on the arteries. The arteries are susceptible to many issues. Atherosclerosis is a major issue. Atherosclerosis is the narrowing of the arteries due to plaque build up. The plaque can completely block blood flow which may lead to stroke, heart attack, or kidney problems.
Vascular surgery is relatively complicated. It is not as simple as putting a bone in place or removing a fibroid. Vascular surgery requires a bypass. A bypass is simply an alternate route when the primary route is not accessible. The vascular bypass is very similar to a bypass on a road. If they close a road to do construction, they always set up a detour route. The detour allows for you to get where you are going, even if it does take a little bit longer. The vascular bypass is the detour.
When the arteries become blocked or damaged, they must be repaired. Since you cannot temporarily stop blood flow, you have to create a bypass. Bypasses can be made anywhere. We hear about heart bypass surgery a lot. The term triple bypass surgery is probably very familiar to you. This surgery always involves the arteries that connect to the heart. There is not just one method for bypass surgery. There are two different ways a bypass surgery can be done. The first method of surgery is using a graft and the second method of surgery uses a machine.
Grafts are permanent bypasses made when a blood vessel is not working properly. Grafts can last a lifetime. They can also be used temporarily during surgery. The doctor makes an incision in the area near the artery that is not working properly; one incision is above the blocked blood vessel and the other incision is below the blocked blood vessel. The graft is either natural, from veins in other areas of the body or they are synthetic. Both work but they have their pros and cons. The graft head is attached to the top portion of the blocked artery, and the tail is attached below the blockage. To keep the graft in place, it is sewn onto the artery. Synthetic grafts are made of either plastic or fabric. Having a healthy lifestyle will keep the graft working longer. If you continue with bad habits, you may need surgery again to either replace the graft or add a new graft.
A bypass is also done temporarily during surgery. Bypasses are typically done for heart surgeries. The machine used is called a heart-lung machine. The machine acts as the heart and lungs and connects to the rest of the body so blood can flow normally while the heart is undergoing an operation. The machine adds oxygen to the blood like the lungs would and removes carbon dioxide. The heart is stopped during all this. Another method of bypass does not require the heart to stop. This machine acts more like a detour. Once the heart surgery is over, the detour is closed, and blood can flow through the heart normally. This bypass is typically done in conjunction with the graft if the graft is done in the heart.
There are risks with all bypass surgeries. The risks include heart attack or stroke. Sometimes the blockage remains and other times pieces of the blockage break off and travels. In the case of the stroke, blood clots may form and cut off blood supply to the brain. Infection is a major risk. It is rare, but it can happen with any surgery. When bypasses are done in the legs, it may cause bladder infections. Pneumonia is another risk with bypass surgeries.
Bypass surgeries are an excellent method of treatment for a lot of artery diseases. Being able to add in a new artery when an old one is not functioning properly is great. Bypass surgeries may also be temporary with heart-lung bypass surgeries. If you are suffering from diseases in the artery, a bypass may be the treatment you need. If you take care of yourself post surgery, the bypass can last a lifetime.
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