Artery Harvesting

For most folks that undergo a by-pass surgery, the arteries are harvested from the groin and leg areas. In Men, a lot of times the Left Internal Mammary Artery (LIMA) is used as it is not needed by men. This is done once the chest cavity is already open but is a bit intrusive from what I understand. It also has a tendency to cause Anterior intercostal nerve damage. Basically, my left boob goes numb, sometimes it tingles, sometimes it feels very irritated just having the seat belt on.

To add to the irritation with the nerve damage in the area, my Electrophysiologist had to implant my Loop Recorder right through the area where the LIMA used to be and where the nerve damage is. So, even after a month of having this thing in me, it basically hurts like it was put in 3 days ago. Then, there are other times that I can touch the area where the Loop Recorder is and it is completely numb. I cannot even tell my finger has touched it.

As for the second place they harvested from… My Left Radial Artery…

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And the end results…

2015-09-26 15.47.49

There are a lot of articles on the web regarding nerve damage associated with this procedure. I was one of the lucky ones that have no adverse effects from it (aside from the huge, yet kick-ass, scar)…

  • Hard to find a pulse when working out
  • Blood pressure reading are not consistent
  • Good luck getting blood drawn from this arm
  • Basically, if a nurse wants to do their job, they always go to the left (I think it is because it is on their right but I really do not know)

Yes, it is a conversation starter. Hell, it’s almost a foot long. It gets noticed. I am thankful it was not my groin they went after as I hear the recovery time is a lot longer than the arm. But, if you take care of yourself (as I seem to say WAY too often), hopefully you will never have to worry about them harvesting your arteries out of you chest, arm, or groin.

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