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Veins can sometimes be used to replace arteries that are diseased. The process of removing them is called harvesting.
Leg veins are frequently used for vein harvesting. For open chest procedures, like coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), veins or other blood vessels in the chest are often used.
Diseased arteries with atherosclerosis have a build up of plaque that can block the flow of blood. Coronary (heart) or carotid arteries to the brain are often repaired by making a bypass. Vein grafts are most often used to bypass these blocked arteries.
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Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. There may be bleeding, damage to nerves, or infection at the vein harvesting site(s). Your doctor will review a list of possible complications for your procedure.
Call Your Doctor
After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the incision site
- Pain that you cannot control with the medicines you have been given
- Any changes of color in your leg, or if your leg becomes cold, numb, or tingly
- Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
- Dizziness or weakness
- Calves that are red, swollen, or warm to the...