Waiting on bypass surgery very anxious - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation
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Waiting on bypass surgery very anxious


Hi I was diagnosed with heart disease and need triple bypass. Most worrying thing is that due to varicose veins in both legs I have been referred to professor al attar at Goode jubilee Glasgow as he specialises on bypass surgery not using leg veins. As I understand it he will rewire mammary veins. My worry is that during visit in clinic he said that means there is no back up plan!! Frightened the wits of me. I expressed my fears to cardiac nurse who said not to worry they will get a vein from somewhere else. Anyone been in this situation? Would love to hear positive outcomes.

12 Replies

Hi there, I had a double bypass 5 months ago today and the cardiologist used both of my mammary arteries as I had both legs stripped of varicose veins many years ago. I wasn't made aware of a lack of any 'back up plan' by him but a couple months ago I said it to my husband as it suddenly came to mind and yes, I did feel a sense of panic. I plan to discuss this with my cardiac rehab team, however, I'm not going to dwell on it as I'm recovering as I should and enjoying the days when I'm feeling able to do a little bit more than before. Doing my best in keeping a positive outlook and being grateful for the breath of life.

Discuss your concerns with your cardiologist, and as you say the nurse told you they will get a vein from somewhere, but hopefully you will never need that to happen.

Sending you hugs.

Kind regards,


in reply to sandrann

Hi thanks for your quick response and great to hear you are recovering well. I feel I have to trust the surgeon and assume that they would not consider such a procedure if there was not a reasonable chance of success. I will express my concerns again at the next opportunity and thanks again for your kind words.


MichaelJHHeart Star

They can also take veins from the arms. In fact I have been told this will apply to me.

Thanks for your response good to know

I had quadruple bypass surgery and it felt the same as a normal bypass surgery.

in reply to gal4God

Hi thanks for your response. Did you have quadruple bypass using mammary veins or arm veins?

Hi .I had one out of my leg but also they took one out of my arm .a lot depends on your surgeon hope it all goes well for you

Hi thanks for your response. The surgeon I have is a specialist in his field so I guess I will just have to trust him in the end and hope for the best


I had bypass surgery - was supposed to be a single or double, but ended up having a quadruple. They used the veins in my chest (mammary artery) as well as veins from 1 leg and arm. I believe they could have used two arms instead :-).

I can tell you I was very worried before my surgery, but all my fears turned to nothing as I was out of hospital 6 days later and have been making a good recovery. I hope the same happens for you.

Hi oh thats really good to hear and great you are making good recovery. I have been sent an app for chest/abdomen ct scan which I presume surgeon is doing in order to check veins in that area. I should be grateful he is being thorough in his preparation.......its just so scary !!!

In fact it's better to use arteries rather than leg veins - they last longer, which is why they are used for blockages in the most important coronary arteries. You have 2 mammary arteries he can use, and he can also use a radial artery from your arm, as mentioned above. So don't worry - it means you will get a gold standard bypass from a top surgeon!

Hi there thank you for your reassuring response , trying to think positive and hoping for a good outcome

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