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Peter asked...

Tags: arteries , injury , muscles

After an operation for femoral endarterectomy is it common for the knee, calf and ankle to remain swollen and slightly inflamed 9 months later. the previous pain in the calf muscle when walking has gone so the operation appeared to have been successful.

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The Answer

The procedure called endarterectomy is performed to unblock narrowings in the essential arteries which have become narrowed over time by arteriosclerosis.

The artery is exposed then opened to remove the plaques which are causing the blockage and a small balloon can be inflated in other parts of the artery to increase its diameter. In the case of femoral endarterectomy it is not unusual to experience some swelling of the legs for a month or two after the operation. This is a result of reduced drainage of the fluid via the lymphatic drainage system. In some cases the swelling can remain due to a phenomenon called lymphoedema. To reduce the swelling of the legs compression stockings can be used and the feet can be elevated when sitting.  

Answered by Dr. A. Wright.


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