Remote Superficial Femoral Artery Endarterectomy and Distal Vein Bypass for Limb Salvage: Initial Experience

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Objective: The results of percutaneous transluminal angioplasty, atherectomy, and laser angioplasty for the treatment of long-segment (>10 cm) superficial femoral artery (SFA) occlusive disease have proved disappointing. Remote superficial femoral artery endarterectomy (RSFAE) is a minimally invasive procedure, performed through a single limited groin incision that may offer patency rates comparable with those of above-knee femoropopliteal (AKFP) bypass graft. In this retrospective multicenter study the medium-term results of RSFAE are examined. Methods: Sixty patients were included in this study. Indications for the procedure were claudication in 52 patients and limb salvage in eight patients. RSFAE was performed with the MollRing Cutter device through a femoral arteriotomy. The distal “flap” of atheroma was anchored by balloon/stent angioplasty through the femoral arteriotomy. All patients underwent a follow-up examination with serial color flow ultrasound scanning. Results: Ten patients with heavily calcified SFAs failed as “intentions to treat”; these patients underwent AKFP bypass grafting. The mean length of the endarterectomized SFAs was 22.3 cm (range, 8-37 cm). The primary cumulative patency rate by means of life-table analysis was 61.4% ± 9% (SE), (mean, 12.9 months; range, 3-36 months). During follow-up, percutaneous transluminal angioplasty was necessary in 14 patients, for a primary-assisted patency rate of 82.6% ± 8%. The locations of the restenoses after RSFAE were evenly distributed along the endarterectomized SFAs. There were no deaths and one wound complication (hematoma), and the mean hospital length of stay was 1.4 days ± 0.8 days. Conclusions: RSFAE is a safe and moderately durable procedure. If long-term patency rates are similar to those of AKFP bypass graft, RSFAE may prove to be a minimally invasive adjunct for the treatment of SFA occlusive disease that will lower operative morbidity, reduce hospital LOS, and shorten recuperation. (J Vasc Surg 2001;34:428-33.)


Presented at the Southern Association for Vascular Surgery, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, Jan 24-27, 2001.



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