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J Vasc Surg. 1993 Aug;18(2):271-9.

Long-term results of semiclosed endarterectomy of the superficial femoral artery and the outcome of failed reconstructions.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University Hospital Utrecht, The Netherlands.



The optimal method of treatment of superficial femoral artery occlusive disease has yet to be established. Therapeutic options include percutaneous transluminal angioplasty for short lesions and reversed or in situ autologous saphenous vein bypass for long lesions. Currently, staged revascularization with polytetrafluoroethylene as an initial conduit and autologous vein for secondary procedures is suggested. An alternative to these procedures is endarterectomy of the occluded superficial femoral artery, followed by a femoropopliteal bypass in cases of endarterectomy failure. Our results with this procedure are reviewed in this article.


From 1980 until 1990, 259 endarterectomies of the superficial femoral artery were attempted, 231 of which were successfully performed in 197 patients (145 men and 52 women), with an average age of 64 years (range 40 to 82 years). The indication for successfully performed endarterectomy was claudication in 186 patients (80%), rest pain in 21 (9%), and gangrene in 24 (11%). The postoperative mortality rate was 0.8% with a complication rate of 10%.


Eighty-two failures occurred during follow-up, of which 33 were treated with peripheral bypass. Five additional bypasses were performed because of occlusions distal from the endarterectomized segment. The 5-year primary overall patency rate of successfully performed endarterectomy was 71% (SE 3.6). The 5-year overall secondary bypass patency rate was 61% (SE 11.3). The combined endarterectomy and bypass patency rate (tertiary patency) was 79% (SE 3.3) after 5 years and 45% (SE 7.6) after 10 years. The overall amputation rate was 5.6% and the amputation rate was 1.6% in patients treated for claudication.


The combination of endarterectomy and peripheral bypass provides a valuable alternative to the current treatment of superficial femoral artery occlusive disease.

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