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A 23-year-old member asked:

Can the left internal mammary artery side branches affect blood flow rate in humans?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Fenster
Cardiology 31 years experience
Depends: Coronary steal from unligated side branches from the left internal mammary artery (lima) when it is used for coronary bypass is an area of open debate. Most surgeons will ligate a large side branch to prevent the possibility of steal, small branches are often not (the risk of ligating higher than the liklihood of steal). The exact size that requires ligation to prevent steal is unknown.
Dr. Michael Moran
Cardiology 33 years experience
Yes.: The lima is frequently used as a bypass conduit in coronary bypass surgery. Large side branches left un-clipped can "steal" blood from going to the bypassed artery. If symptomatic, these side branches can be closed easily by "coil embolization" using the same minimally invasive technique as cardiac catheterization.

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Last updated Mar 1, 2019

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