Aortobifemoral bypass: The operation of choice for unilateral iliac occlusion?

Joseph J. Piotrowski, William H. Pearce, Darrell N. Jones, Thomas Whitehill, Reginald Bell, Anita Patt, Robert B. Rutherford*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


Aortobifemoral bypass (ABF) is the preferred operation for patients with bilateral aortoiliac occlusive disease, but for those with unilateral occlusion without significant stenosis of the contralateral iliac artery, alternative reconstructions, such as femorofemoral (FF) or iliofemoral (IF) bypass have been advocated. We compared the surgical outcome in 96 such patients after ABF (n = 32), FF (n = 47), or IF (n = 17) bypasses, with biplane arteriography and noninvasive laboratory testing used to assess the contralateral iliac artery and runoff status, in particular, patency of the superficial femoral artery (SFA). Graft patencies were assessed by noninvasive criteria and analyzed by the life-table method. The only death occurred after ABF bypass (3.1%). Primary patency rates at 1, 3, and 5 years with an open SFA were 100%, 89% and 89%, respectively, for ABF; 92%, 92%, and 92% for FF; and 71%, 71%, and 36% for IF. When the SFA was occluded, the primary patency rates at 1, 3, and 5 years were 100%, 100%, and 72%, respectively, for ABF; 72%, 53%, and 35% for FF; and 56%, 56%, and 56% for IF bypasses. There were no later occlusions on the contralateral ("good") side after ABF. Significant progression of atherosclerosis in donor iliac artery was observed in 6% of both FF and IF bypasses. We conclude that ABF is the preferred operation for extensive iliac artery occlusive disease that is hemodynamically significant only on the symptomatic side unless specifically contraindicated by prohibitive risk or abdominal disease. This is particularly true in the face of SFA occlusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-218
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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