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How long will the grafts last after a triple bypass surgery?

Thursday, 24 August 2006
Answered by: Dr. O.P. Yadava
Consultant Cardiac Surgeon, CEO
National Heart Institute and Research Centre
New Delhi
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Q. I had triple bypass surgery 6 years ago. LAD was fixed with artery from within the chest wall and two right arteries were fixed with veins from both legs. Average measures of lipid profile since then are as follows: Total cholesterol = 150, LDL = 76, HDL = 46. I exercise 45 minutes per day, 6 days a week and keep my heart rate at 120 beats per minutes during exercise. My resting heart rate at night is 55. I am not diabetic nor do I have high BP. I am strictly vegetarian and avoid cooking oils. How long will my grafts last?

A.  As I can see everything seems to be going on wonderfully well with you. Your cholesterol profile is quite good and your exercise level too seems to be good. With this kind of a profile, generally the long term results of bypass surgery are very good. However, to quantify in an individual patient, is impossible. In generic terms, the patency rate of the artery from inside the chest, called left internal mammary artery, which was used for bypassing your LAD, is upwards of 90% at twenty years and that of veins is roughly 50% at ten years. I think what you are doing is correct, so please stop worrying about how long will the grafts last, because if you think much, you would add a risk factor of stress, so be carefree and enjoy your self.

A.  As I can see everything seems to be going on wonderfully well with you. Your cholesterol profile is quite good and your exercise level too seems to be good. With this kind of a profile, generally the long term results of bypass surgery are very good. However, to quantify in an individual patient, is impossible. In generic terms, the patency rate of the artery from inside the chest, called left internal mammary artery, which was used for bypassing your LAD, is upwards of 90% at twenty years and that of veins is roughly 50% at ten years. I think what you are doing is correct, so please stop worrying about how long will the grafts last, because if you think much, you would add a risk factor of stress, so be carefree and enjoy your self.

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