Comparison of Laparoscopic and Open Aortobifemoral Bypass in the Treatment of Aortoiliac Disease. Results of a Contemporary Series (2003-2009)

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The study objective was to describe and evaluate our single center (University Hospital Liège) experience with totally laparoscopic bypass surgery compared with conventional open surgery to treat aortoiliac occlusive disease.

Material and methods:

A retrospective database review of all patients undergoing aortobifemoral bypass for aortoiliac occlusive disease in our center, between 2003 and 2009, was performed. During this period, a total of 251 consecutive patients were identified. Among these patients, 95 underwent totally laparoscopic aortobifemoral bypass (group I) and 156 conventional open surgery (group II). Demographic data, operative data, postoperative recovery data, complications, two-year follow-up, morbidity and mortality were analysed according to the laparoscopic and conventional open group.


Patients included 160 men and 91 women. The mean age was 61 years (range, 40 to 88 years) in both groups. Indications for surgery were invalidating claudication in 87%, rest pain in 7%, trophic disorders in 5%, impotence in 1.6% and digestive claudication in 1.2%. Prior to bypass surgery, 11 (11.6%) for the group I and 41 (26.3%) for the group II had undergone one or more abdominal surgical procedures. A transperitoneal and retrocolic approach was preferred in all laparoscopic procedures. Laparoscopic aortobifemoral bypass (LABF) required an operative time of 242 minutes (range, 129 to 465) and open aortobifemoral bypass (OABF), 200 minutes (range, 105 to 430). The mean aortic cross clamping time was 62 minutes in group I and 33 minutes in group II. Mean blood loss was more important in group II (1010 ml) than in group I (682 ml). The average length of hospital stay was 8.1 days for LABF compared with an average of 12 days for OABF. In 21 cases (20%) conversion to open surgery was necessary in the laparoscopic group. Systemic morbidity was significantly higher in the OABF group. Thirty-day postoperative mortality was 2% for group II. There was no hospital mortality in the laparoscopic group. Twenty nine patients were lost to follow-up and the mean follow-up was 23.5 months.


Analysis of the results shows that laparoscopic aortobifemoral bypass for aortoiliac occlusive disease is a safe procedure. The statistically significant advantages observed in the majority of our patients were decreased blood loss, faster post-operative recovery and shorter hospital stay. In the two groups, late morbidity attributable to the bypass prosthesis was minimal compared with other causes.

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