Send to

Choose Destination
Ann Vasc Surg. 2014 Aug;28(6):1420-5. doi: 10.1016/j.avsg.2014.03.023. Epub 2014 Apr 2.

Minimal thoracotomy thoracic bifemoral bypass in the endovascular era.

Author information

Section of Vascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, CO.
Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, CO.
Section of Vascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, CO. Electronic address:



Endoluminal revascularization has supplanted open techniques for most aortoiliac occlusive disease with open surgery reserved for endovascular failure or long-segment aortoiliac occlusions. A number of clinical and anatomic issues can preclude the use of the infrarenal aorta for inflow. Our approach in these select patients is minimal thoracotomy thoracic bifemoral (mini-TBF) bypass.


Mini-TBF bypass used a 2-team approach. The cardiac surgery team focused on arterial inflow from the distal descending aorta via a ≤8-cm thoracotomy at ninth interspace. The vascular surgery team focused on groin reconstruction and graft tunneling. The body of the graft was tunneled through the posterior left hemidiaphragm. The left limb was tunneled retroperitoneal over the psoas and the right limb anterior to the abdominal fascia below the umbilicus to the groin.


Thirteen patients (mean age, 64; 82% male) underwent mini-TBF bypass between 2009 and 2012 for claudication in 9 (69%) and critical limb ischemia in 4 (31%). Five patients had prior failed iliac endovascular revascularizations and 2 patients had failed prior infrarenal aortobifemoral bypass. The indication for use of thoracic aortic inflow was prior abdominal operations in 4 (31%), pelvic anatomy with a critical inferior mesenteric artery (IMA) in 5 (38%), and the condition of the infrarenal/juxtarenal aorta in 4 (31%). Median operative time was 240 min (range 181-513 min). Median length of stay was 8 days. There was no perioperative mortality. Postoperative complications occurred in 5 patients, stroke 1, pulmonary 2 (both contralateral lung issues), and 2 limb occlusion secondary to outflow disease. At median follow-up of 18 months, 2 patients required amputations, both from preexisting tissue loss despite secondary patent grafts.


Mini-TBF bypass provides another alternative to successfully revascularize Trans-Atlantic Inter-Society Consensus II type D lesions in patients with prior abdominal revascularization, pelvic anatomy with a critical IMA, or calcification/thrombus of the infrarenal/juxtarenal aorta precludes control.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center