vein graft

i just wanted to know if it was common to have the vein graft done and have them (3 out of 4) collapse?

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and i forgot to mention to have them collapse in a little over ONE WEEK?

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I had a CABG x3 and right around 11 months later it was discovered one of my grafts had failed and had to have a stent placed to fix it and from what I was told they suspected that if failed when the healing and swelling started to subside and somehow someway the opening of the graft was blocked. I was given the impression it happens sometimes but with yours being so soon and having three out of four fail that seems bad!!!! I can't say that is common at all:-( Hope Yarn Kitty gets on here and with her years of experience maybe she can tell you if it is common.

Best Wishes,


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thanks so much for replying . its just one horrble ni.ghtmare. actually there were like 5 bypasses . or whatever, surgeon came out said well, 3 of 4 didnt work and now they put a stent in one the clogged ones ! my question is ,"why the heck do the vein graft" in the first place???? , so , one stent is all i have and they sayin i need another in a month and i dont think i want go do it again, im an emotional wreck scared to even move the wrong way cause this caused me 2 heart attacks, im 47 yrs old!!. sorry, i just need vent and someone to talk to. thanks

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Not that I have experienced any vein grafts, but I'm sorry to hear 3 out of 4 failed (makes ya wonder why they did them in the 1st place) -- I feel for you. I had a stent placed back in 3/2010 in the main LAD (widow maker) & 1 week shy of 2 years I experienced a 2nd Heart Attack because the damn stent had occluded (restenosis), I had a stent placed w/in that stent on 3/14/12, now what I am wondering is why don't the cardiologists let us know the chances of these things occurring BEFORE they treat us? I'm sure there is ALOT of "over grafting" "over stenting" going on that could be avoided if they allowed us a choice of treatments -- I'm sure not one of them would appreciate having to under go things more than once (in my case I have had a total of 4 catherizations to achieve 2 stent placements, now on 6/4 I will be having an ultrasound & a (2nd) nuclear stress test to see if I am a candidate for a by-pass? why wouldn't a by-pass be the 1st and only treatment I would receive is beyond me -- since it looks like I'm headed that route anyhow . . . I am so scared, so I totally understand your need to talk about it -- hope you are doing well -- keep in touch :-)

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sorry to hear you are havin all the problems too. geez, is it the cardiologists or what? why they make it so hard and ridiculous doing the things all backwards???!! man! ok, yes it makes me 3 times they have done the catherization or whatever its called, im so new to all this, i went from stresstest straight to catherization in about a week and 2 days later it was a 5 bypass! im so mixed with emotions and havin these cryin spells and scared if i get very upset , im gonna have that ambulance right back here again! im just terrified im gonna die at any given moment. oh, and i found out later my 95% blockage ,i couldve died at any time.

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I hear ya on the crying & scared feelings! A friend of mine told me that if God wanted me I'd be gone, but since both you & I are still kickin' it obviously wasn't our time :-) I am grateful to have joined this group (yesterday), cause it seems even those closest to you don't seem to understand our scenarios (sure they mean well & if you're like me I put on a brave face), but unless you're in our shoes, let's face it they're not worried w/every breath they take. I've been given #'s to Therapists, but haven't called any because unless they've been through it I don't see how they can help? If it's any help we can exchange e-mails or #'s since I think we could both use the support & I do get "it". It's been 2 yrs. of holding it in -- I just recently switched Cardiologists to one my Dad used to have since he knows more about my family history, so I feel a bit more comfortable with him. Whatever works right? My real name is Linda by the way :-) Hang in there it's a crazy wild ride for sure!

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I'm sorry you are having complications. It is not common to have such early graft failure, but it does happen. I don't know much about it, but from what I've read the problem that early is clots forming in the grafts. When it happens, the choices are revascularization either by stenting or re-operation or medical management (medications in the hospital). Your surgeon and cardiologists would be able to tell you more about your particular circumstances and what they recommend.

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oh, thank you. seems all i have is one complication after another . i stay worried sick every time i feel slight pressure in my chest like is this the heart attack thats gonna do me in!!,

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That's totally understandable! You've been through a lot. I've had a complicated course as well and it's scary.

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Ok. Here's my limited, but personal experience. First of all, in this time in the development of treatment for CAD and occlusion, the treatment of preference is a stent and medication. If it's less than 70% occluded, they recommend no stent, but medication and lifestyle changes, i.e. diet, exercise, stress reduction. If it's over 70% they will usually stent it and at the same time recommend life style changes.

If you are in an emergent situation as I was (successful stenting had failed during recovery that evening) and rushed into bypass surgery because my RCA had totally dissected due to the trauma of stenting. My graft failed 2 years later but it gave me time to build some collaterals with exercising.

I'm an NP and try to read as much as possible on the subject, although I still have a life of reading and learning that doesn't center around heart disease! ha

This blog called Heart Sisters is written by one of us who, like me, has been to the Mayo Symposium on Women and Heart Disease and educated and trained to be ambassadors in the community for our sisters with heart issues. Her blog TODAY (interesting enough) addresses many of your questions. Hope you will read it!

What I'm seeing NOW DAYS, is that with preventative care, i.e. having regular cardiology assessment because of family history or symptoms often (not always) can preclude an emergency situation that requires a graft. That's where our participation as patients comes in. We have to do our part! Our part is diet, exercise, medications, stress reduction.

As for grafts failing, there is no predictable criterion that I know of, but there is indeed an 'expected' percentage of failure. I don't know what that % is, but it's higher than one might think. They don't know the reason....inflammation? health of vein? labs? ? ? ?
Still, if the graft saves your life to enable one to get to a better solution (life style?) then it's worth it.

The recovery from a by-pass surgery is 6 weeks - ???? while recovery from stent placement is a day or two. The expense is quite different too, thus, stenting is almost always preferable with a bypass being a last resort.

Hope this helps add to the discussion......except I might add, changing your doctor is sometimes the best answer. If you are not feeling cared for and explained to....and after communicating this to your have the right to change physicians.

Another thing I feel very strongly about.......go to a large heart center if at all don't want your stent placed by someone who does 3 of them a month! Get with someone who does them each and every will pay in the long run to examine your physician just as carefully as you examine your child's teacher or the person who does your income tax. Just because they have the word "interventional cardiologist" after their name, doesn't mean they are the best person for the job. When I changed docs, I actually went to the appointment with my questions about HIS practice, his bedside manner, his partners, and how he saw our collaborative role. He answered them and I am forever thankful I made the change.

Good luck!

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thank you so much lynn, havent been on here until last few days. got another 2 stent and still hurting

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