• We studied a series of femoropopliteal bypass operations in which polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) grafts were used as the first choice, regardless of the availability of saphenous vein. From Jan 1, 1979 to Dec 31,1982,63 PTFE femoropopliteal bypass grafts were placed in 55 patients without exploration of the saphenous vein. Forty-three grafts were placed for limb salvage, and 20 grafts were placed for disabling claudication. Patients were followed up for nine to 53 months (average, 23 months). The operative mortality was 1.8%. There were no infections. The overall patency at 30 months was 76.1%. The 30 months' cumulative patency rate for patients with claudication was 89.3%, and there were no amputations. The cumulative 30-month patency for limb salvage was 70.1%, and there was a limb salvage rate of 81.2%. Because the 30-month results were comparable with reported series using autogenous saphenous vein, we concluded that PTFE conduits may be considered the first-choice arterial substitute for femoropopliteal reconstruction. Until longer follow-ups are available, reversed autogenous saphenous vein should probably be the graft of first choice in younger patients (less than 60 years of age) without coronary artery disease who are undergoing femoropopliteal revascularizations.
(Arch Surg 1984;119:1238-1243)