Aortic Bifemoral (Aortobifemoral) Bypass Periprocedural Care

Updated: Jul 21, 2017
  • Author: Shabir Bhimji, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Vincent Lopez Rowe, MD  more...
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Periprocedural Care

Patient Preparation

Aortic bifemoral (aortobifemoral) bypass is an extensive procedure that requires careful patient preparation. For elective surgery, the patient should not smoke for at least 3-4 weeks, and on the day of surgery, two to four units of packed red blood cells should be available. Autologous blood donation is recommended in most elective cases.

Adequate hydration is recommended before surgery, and an intravenous (IV) fluid drip should be started at midnight. A broad-spectrum antibiotic is administered just before the incision is made.

In most aortic bifemoral bypass procedures, blood transfusion can be avoided through proper hemostasis and careful dissection. A cell saver, if available, can help decrease the need for blood transfusions. [26]  Better still, autologous blood donation can be done 3 weeks in advance of elective surgery. Routine use of blood during aortic bifemoral bypass is not recommended. [1]


Aortic bifemoral bypass is an extensive procedure and requires general anesthesia. A central venous line is placed for monitoring and fluid access during anesthesia. A radial line is usually inserted for continuous monitoring of blood pressure. [26]

In patients with heart problems, a Swan-Ganz (pulmonary artery) catheter may be used to monitor cardiac function. Today, most patients are given a combination of spinal and general anesthesia. The epidural catheter is left in place for a few days to limit pain; this can significantly reduce exogenous narcotic requirements.

All fluids are warmed before administration, and the upper body is covered with a warming unit (eg, Bair Hugger). [1, 2, 3]


For an aortic bifemoral bypass, the patient is placed in the supine position, with the arms extended at the side. The infrarenal aorta can be exposed via several different incisions, but the most common choice is a midline abdominal incision extending from the xiphoid to the pubis. [1, 2, 3, 27, 28]


Monitoring & Follow-up

Extubate the patient in the operating room (OR) or in the intensive care unit (ICU) if he or she is stable. Postoperatively, monitor patients for respiratory, cardiac, and renal function. Most important, check pulses in the legs every few hours. Most patients can leave the ICU the next day and can be admitted to a regular floor.

Administer antibiotics for three doses after the procedure, and discharge the patient once he or she is ambulating and tolerating a diet. Ambulation can start on postoperative day 2, but a normal diet should not be resumed until the patient has active bowel sounds. Perform a duplex arterial study on the day of discharge to provide an objective baseline for follow-up studies. [1, 2, 3]