Understanding Coronary Artery Bypass And Internal Mammary Graft


Understanding Coronary Artery Bypass And Internal Mammary Graft  

A coronary artery bypass surgery becomes necessary when the coronary artery gets blocked due to plaque formation. This disease is called coronary artery disease or CAD. A plaque is formed because of the deposit of fatty substances like cholesterol in the inner walls of the artery.

This leads to narrowing of the arteries which can then, not supply the required amount of oxygen and nutrients to the heart through the blood. Nevertheless, when all other procedures to remove the plaque as well as a change in lifestyle fail, it is only then that a coronary artery bypass surgery is recommended.

In the coronary artery bypass surgery, the surgeon creates a bypass for the flow of blood to the heart, around the affected artery. This is done using a piece of vein from another part of the body such as the thigh, leg etc. During the surgery, the heart is stopped and the blood circulation is carried out through a heart-lung machine so that the surgeons can operate on the heart feely. To complete the graft, one end of the vein is attached to the ascending aorta and the other end is attached to a coronary artery below the blocked area.

Sometimes the vein used for the graft may be done using the internal mammary artery. When doing so, the left and right internal marry arteries do not need to be attached to the aorta. They are just attached to the coronary artery beyond the blockage. The other end is attached to the chest wall. It is seen that grafts constructed from the left internal mammary artery, or LIMA, have a better chance of functioning compared to vein grafts.

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