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Femoral endarterectomy

Surgery to remove plaque from the femoral artery and improve blood flow

The femoral artery is one of the main arteries in the groin and is crucial for blood flow throughout the body. When a femoral blockage restricts circulation, it can cause difficult symptoms. A femoral endarterectomy is a type of vascular surgery that may help to improve blood flow.

A femoral blockage means an obstruction in your femoral artery, and this is typically caused by a buildup of plaque in the artery. This blockage will restrict blood flow from the femoral artery, which especially affects your legs. It can cause all sorts of problematic symptoms including leg pain, cramping, numbness or weakness in your legs. In severe cases you might have ulcers or areas of dead skin due to poor circulation.

A femoral endarterectomy aims to remove the blockage, restoring the flow of blood and removing your difficult symptoms. If you think you could benefit from a private femoral endarterectomy, our experienced consultant vascular surgeons are ready and waiting to help you. Call or book online to start your treatment journey.

The cost of having a femoral endarterectomy can vary depending on the consultant performing the procedure. Prices can also vary between hospital and region.

We offer fixed-price packages that include the cost of your treatment and aftercare. Call our team and they should be able to give you a personalised quote.

If you're looking to pay for your own treatment, you may qualify for our flexible finance plans. You can find out more here.

Femoral endarterectomy can also be paid for using your private health insurance.

To find out whether this operation could help you, book an initial consultation with one of our experienced vascular surgeons. They will work with you to find out the cause of your problems and help you to understand the various treatments available.

At this first appointment, we will take a detailed medical history, asking about your symptoms, how long you've been having them and whether you have tried any other treatments so far. Your consultant may perform a physical examination, and they may arrange for diagnostic tests and scans to analyse any arterial blockages. Even if you have already been told you need a femoral endarterectomy, we will still want to make our own diagnosis, just to be sure.

From there, your consultant will talk you through all available treatments and give you their recommendations on the best choice for your personal circumstances. Together, you'll build a bespoke treatment plan based around your individual needs.

Once this is agreed, we can get you booked in for surgery without delay.

Are there any alternatives to this treatment?

Depending on the type of blockage and its location, an angioplasty can sometimes be performed instead of an endarterectomy. In most cases, you will need one treatment or the other to address your femoral blockage. Symptoms will not improve without treatment and in extreme cases can lead to amputation if circulation to the leg is blocked completely.

Before the surgery, you will be assessed by a multidisciplinary medical team.

Femoral endarterectomy can be performed under either general anaesthetic or local anaesthetic. Depending on the anaesthetic used, you may be asked not to eat or drink in the lead up to surgery.

Most patients can expect to stay in hospital for a day or two following a femoral endarterectomy, so it is important that you plan for your stay in hospital. Bring along any medications you might be taking, as well as clothes, nightwear and any toiletries you may need.

Once you are safely under the effects of anaesthetic, an incision (cut) is made in your groin, through which your consultant surgeon can access the femoral artery.

The plaque is removed from the artery and a synthetic patch may be applied in order to prevent the artery from narrowing in the future.

In some cases, the surgeon will perform a hybrid procedure where you have angioplasty too. This is where your blood vessels are stretched using a tiny balloon.

The incision is then closed with stitches.

In the days following the procedure, it's normal to experience some pain around the incision. You may be prescribed pain medication to help with this.

If dissolvable stitches have not been used, you will need to visit the medical team seven to 14 days after the surgery to have them removed.

We recommend that you remain as active as possible after your consultant gives you the go-ahead. Moderate exercise such as walking boosts blood flow and can speed up recovery.

You should avoid strenuous exercise such as jogging, weightlifting or cycling until your doctor confirms that it is safe to do so.

Most patients can return to work after six weeks.

Your consultant will advise you on what kind of medicine you can expect to take following the surgery. If you are prescribed antibiotics, it is very important that you finish the whole course, even if your symptoms improve before the course is complete.

A femoral endarterectomy is considered a safe procedure, with major complications occurring in only 2-3% of cases. However, as with any surgery there are risks associated with the procedure. The most common risks can include:

  • Numbness around the wound or limb due to skin nerves being severed
  • Limb swelling due to inflammation following surgery
  • Infection of the wound or arterial patch
  • Adverse reaction to anaesthetic

When you choose to go private with Circle Health Group, you can expect:

  • Flexible appointment times and locations to fit your routine
  • The freedom to choose which hospital and consultant suit your needs
  • Personalised, consultant-led treatment plans tailored to your individual needs
  • Comfortable and safe private facilities maintained by expert multidisciplinary teams
  • Private ensuite rooms as standards and delicious healthy meals
  • Affordable, fixed-price packages with aftercare included
  • Flexible payment options to help you spread the cost of your care

If you would like to learn more about femoral endarterectomy or any other related procedure or condition, book your appointment online today or call a member of our team directly.

Content reviewed by Circle in-house team in March 2023. Next review due March 2026.

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