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When the heart builds up blockages, it is often in more than one place. In this illustration, the patient has developed a 100% blockage of one artery (the Right Coronary Artery), while another vessel has several blockages including one at a branch point between the LAD and circumflex. Catheter techniques such as PTCA are of limited utility in both of these types of situations. In this illustration, a bypass surgery is being performed. Veins are taken from the leg, and sewn to the aorta, and then to the coronary arteries beyond the blockages.
The artery to the breast on the left (the left internal mammary artery or "LIMA") can be freed from the inside of the breast and used to bypass the left anterior descending coronary artery or its branches. In some cases , the right internal mammary artery (" RIMA") can be used to bypass the right coronary artery.
©COPY;1997 HeartPoint Updated July 1997
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