Effect of infrainguinal bypass tunneling technique on patency and amputation in patients with limb ischemia

Published:April 09, 2021DOI:



      We investigated the association of tunneling technique on patency and amputation in patients undergoing lower extremity bypass for limb ischemia.


      The National Vascular Quality Initiative database infrainguinal bypass module from 2008 to 2017 was queried for analysis. We excluded cases with non–great saphenous vein grafts, grafts using multiple segments, aneurysmal disease indications, bypass locations outside the femoral to below the knee popliteal artery or tibial arteries, and missing data on tunneling type and limb ischemia. The main exposure variable was the tunneling type, subcutaneously vs subfascially. Our primary outcomes were primary patency and amputation. The secondary outcomes included primary-assisted patency and secondary patency. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression models were used.


      A total of 5497 bypass patients (2835 subcutaneous and 2662 subfascial) were included. Age, race, graft orientation (reversed vs not reversed), bypass donor and recipient vessels, harvest type, end-stage renal disease, smoking, coronary artery bypass graft, congestive heart failure, P2Y12 inhibitor at discharge, surgical site infection at discharge, and indication (rest pain vs tissue loss vs acute ischemia) were analyzed for an association with the tunneling technique (P < .05). Multivariate analyses demonstrated that the tunneling type was not associated with primary patency, primary-assisted patency, secondary patency, or major amputation (P > .05).


      Compared with subfascial tunneling, the superficial tunneling technique was not associated with primary patency or major amputation in limb ischemia patients undergoing infrainguinal bypass with a single-segment great saphenous vein.


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