Q&A: If ablation is done on the saphenous vein, are there other veins that may be used for future heart operations?



Q: I have not had any heart problems other than high blood pressure, but family members have had heart catheters and heart surgery. I have leaking valves in the saphenous vein. If ablated, can other veins be used in those heart surgeries if the need arises in future?

A:  The most common conduits used for heart bypass surgery are the arteries that run behind the breastbone. Furthermore, if your saphenous vein is dilated and incompetent, it would be rejected for use should you one day need a bypass procedure. It is simply too weak to withstand the pressure of the arterial blood flow if it was used for the bypass.