Preoperative smoking is associated with early graft failure after infrainguinal bypass surgery

Shalini Selvarajah, James H. Black, Mahmoud B. Malas, Ying Wei Lum, Brandon W. Propper, Christopher J. Abularrage*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Objective Smoking has been implicated as the single most important risk factor for the development of peripheral arterial disease. Whereas previous studies have found poor long-term outcomes in smokers undergoing lower extremity bypass, there is a lack of consistent reports describing the effects of persistent tobacco abuse on early outcomes after infrainguinal bypass. Methods The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database from 2005 to 2011 was queried for primary infrainguinal bypasses. A bivariate analysis was done to assess preoperative and intraoperative risk factors for the primary outcome of 30-day graft failure comparing active smokers with nonsmokers, defined as patients who did not smoke within the 12 months before surgery. Multivariable logistic regression was conducted to assess the independent association of active smoking with graft failure. Results In 6614 (40.0%) active smokers and 9920 (60.0%) nonsmokers, 16,534 infrainguinal bypasses were performed. Active smokers were more likely to be younger, male, and of nonwhite race and to have a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (P <.001, all). Nonsmokers were more likely to be functionally dependent and had significantly more comorbidities (ie, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, congestive heart failure, history of previous cardiac surgery or intervention, and dialysis; P <.001, all). The presence of critical limb ischemia was similar in both groups (53.1% of active smokers vs 53.5% of nonsmokers; P =.61). More nonsmokers received a tibial-level bypass than did active smokers (47.8% vs 33.9%; P <.001). There was a trend toward increased early graft failure in active smokers compared with nonsmokers (5.3% vs 4.7%; P =.08). With adjustment for other variables, especially bypass level and graft type, there was an independent association between active smoking and early graft failure (adjusted odds ratio, 1.21; 95% confidence interval, 1.02-1.43; P =.03). Conclusions Although nonsmokers were significantly older, had more comorbidities, and required more distal revascularization, active smokers still had an increased risk for development of early graft failure. These results stress the need for immediate smoking cessation before lower extremity bypass. Further research is warranted to determine an optimal period of abstinence among smokers with peripheral arterial disease to reduce their risk for early graft failure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1308-1314
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2014
Externally publishedYes


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