• Patients with forefoot ischemia and severe tibial artery disease present a major challenge to revascularization and foot preservation. Encouraged by the success of saphenous vein bypass to the more proximal arteries of the lower leg, we extended this technique to the pedal arteries. Between February 1986 and September 1988, we performed 26 bypasses in 24 men (mean age, 66 years) with critical foot ischemia. Sixty-three percent of the patients had diabetes mellitus, 50% had hypertension, and 71% were actively smoking. Angiography invariably revealed multiple tibial artery occlusions with reconstitution of the pedal arteries. The foot salvage rate was 83% (mean survival, 14 months), primary patency was 83% (mean survival, 9 months), and survival was 86% (mean, 12 months). There were 11 wound complications (42%); two resulted in disruptions of the distal anastomosis and eventual graft failure. Bypass to the pedal arteries yields a high rate of foot salvage and is comparable with more proximal bypass procedures; however, wound complications are common and require special technical considerations.
(Arch Surg. 1989;124:1232-1236)