Where Does the Healthy Vessel Come From?
Obtaining a blood vessel actually requires a separate procedure that is performed immediately before your heart surgery. Depending upon the situation, one or more of the following vessels may be harvested, depending on how many vessels need to be bypassed:
- The internal mammary artery, which is in the chest
- The greater saphenous vein, which runs the length of the leg
- The radial artery, which runs from the elbow to the wrist in the arm
The greater saphenous vein is often used for CABG. While it may seem strange to think about a large vessel being taken from your leg, surprisingly, the other vessels take on the work of the saphenous vein. The other blood vessels in the leg or arm remain in place, and most patients recover quite well.