Peripheral artery disease is caused by buildup of plaque in the arteries. Peripheral artery bypass creates a different route for blood to pass to your extremities. Plaque is a made up of of cholesterol, fat, and calcium that is deposited in the artery wall(s). Over time plaque narrows your arteries and potentially closes off blood flow. Normally, the walls of your hollow, tube-shaped arteries are smooth and elastic. The vessels which are most often affected include the carotid (neck) arteries, the renal (kidney) arteries, the abdominal aorta, and the arteries of the lower extremities.
Peripheral artery bypass surgery redirects blood flow to the extremities by bypassing blocked or narrowed arteries and improves the supply of blood to the arm or leg by using another artery or vein in your body as a “graft” bypassing the blockage.
You may be familiar with coronary bypass surgery, but a similar approach is used to treat peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Peripheral bypasses treat leg artery disease or hardening of the arteries in the leg as well as blockages involving blood vessels in other locations in the body.