Many surgeons advocate uniform performance of operative completion arteriography after leg bypass surgery to ensure technical success and to optimize short- and intermediate-term graft patency. To determine the impact of this practice on the outcome of reversed-vein bypass surgery and associated patient charges, we reviewed our series of consecutive nonemergent leg bypass procedures. Ninety-three infrainguinal bypass procedures were performed in 80 patients (76 men and 4 women) from September 1991 to August 1994. The patients' average age was 67 years (range, 30 to 92 years). Follow-up (mean, 113.1 months; range, 1 to 36 months) was available on 91 grafts (97%). Indications for surgery included limb salvage in 75 cases, claudication in 12 cases, and popliteal aneurysm exclusion in 6 cases. All patients survived surgery. Primary graft patency rates as determined by life-table analysis were 87%, 81%, 78%, and 78% at 6 months and at 1, 2, and 3 years, respectively. Limb-salvage rates were 95%, 91%, 87% and 87% at the same intervals. Bypass procedures were divided into two groups. The 25 grafts in group 1 were evaluated with inspection, continuous-wave Doppler insonation, and routine completion arteriography. The 68 grafts in group 2 were evaluated by inspection and insonation alone. Fourteen grafts occluded after surgery (average, 5 months; range, 1 to 12 months), five in group 1 and nine in group 2. The likelihood of graft occlusion was similar in both groups (p = 0.42). The optimal method of confirming technical adequacy after bypass surgery in the clinically satisfactory graft remains uncertain. Charges for completion arteriography at our institution average $700, including 15 minutes of additional operative time. In our experience, these charges do not appear to be justified by improved short- or intermediate-term graft patency rates in reversed-vein grafts when completion arteriography is performed.
View details for Web of Science ID A1996UJ12600016
View details for PubMedID 8627900