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The clamp is closed and the suture line completed and tied. The completed limb is occluded by finger control, and the aortic clamp is removed slowly. Blood flow is gradually reestablished to the limb to prevent hypotension (Figure 16). Close coordination between surgeon and anesthesiologist is required at this point so that the rate of opening the graft is compensated by fluids and blood administration with maintenance of stable blood pressure.

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The other iliac anastomosis is carried out in similar fashion (Figure 17). The aneurysm sac, if adequate, is closed over the graft with a running suture (Figure 18). If at all possible, closure of the proximal aneurysmal sac should cover the aortic anastomosis so as to provide tissue between it and the duodenum. Alternatively, some surgeons tuck a segment of omentum in this region. The posterior peritoneum is reapproximated, with care taken not to injure the ureters.

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In the presence of occlusive disease of the common iliac in addition to the aneurysm, the common iliac may be divided and oversewn with a continuous suture (Figure 19) on both sides following removal of the aneurysm. The graft is tailored to permit anastomosis of the aorta above the aneurysm with end-to-side anastomosis to the external iliacs beyond the points of stenosis (Figure 20). This bypass procedure makes extensive endarterectomy unnecessary and prevents sacrifice of the hypogastric arteries, which are important in maintaining colonic viability.

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The small intestine is returned to the peritoneal cavity from the plastic bag, and the peritoneal cavity is cleared of blood clots and sponges. Before closure, particular attention is given to the adequacy of the blood supply to the sigmoid. Ordinarily, the blood supply is adequate after ligation of the inferior mesenteric artery. Evidence of bleeding from the prosthesis or at the site of anastomosis is thoroughly searched for before the closure is finally completed. The femoral vessels should be palpated from time to time to ensure that thrombosis has not occurred and that a good flow of blood is going through to the lower extremities. In case of doubt it may be necessary to reexplore one or both sides and remove any blood clots that are found. Routine abdominal closure is done.

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Postoperative care usually is provided in an intensive care unit for the first 24 to 48 hours. In the ...

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