Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) is a major operation where arteries and/or veins are taken as grafts (replacement blood vessels) from another part of our body to channel more blood flow to the heart muscle. The vessels are directly connected to the coronary arteries on the surface of the heart before and beyond the blockages. This way blood flows through the new routes by bypassing the narrowed or closed portions.
The arteries or veins used in this operation may be taken from the arms, legs or the chest itself. Removing them from the body does no harm. Common blood vessels used in the Bypass operation are the saphenous vein from the leg, the radial artery from the arm and the left or right Internal Mammary artery (called LIMA or RIMA) from the chest itself.
It is nature’s gift to heart patients that even if the above arteries or veins are removed for bypass there is no damage or gap in their native regions.
As the radial artery is a potential bypass vessels in a heart patient, it is not preferred for angiography worldwide. Angiography may cause damage to the inner lining of the radial artery and make it unsuitable as a bypass conduit.