What are my risks of heart failure if I have two collapsed arteries?

Jdnglo asked...

Is this common and what are my risks of heart failure? I had a quadruple bypass in 2007 and was recently told I had a blockage. My cardiologist did a cardio catherization at the hospital and said that I had 2 collapsed arteries and nothing could be done. I was told that the arteries couldn't be bypassed because there was no flow. He said the 2 main arteries were working fine. Is that it? Nothing can be done? Has anyone else had this. I had never heard of 2 arteries collapsing and still being able to keep going on the others.

Expert Answer

Carolyn Strimike, N.P. and Margie Latrella, N.P. are cardiac nurse practitioners specializing in the prevention of heart disease and stroke. They have over 40 years of nursing experience in Cardiology between them. The main goal of their work is to counsel, motivate and empower women to adopt healthy lifestyle choices.

Unfotunately after bypass surgery sometimes the bypass grafts collapse or close down. This is especially true when the leg veins are used as a bypass graft. Our bodies are amazing though and are able to try and deal with heart blockages by growing new blood vessels. When the main blood vessels in the heart develop narrowings over time our heart can compensate and grow what are called collateral blood vessels to supply the area where the blockage is located. These collateral vessels are small but many times are able to provide adequate blood flow to the heart muscle. You may have some of these collateral blood vessels. There may be options available such as medications and EECP which is external counterpulsation therapy. You may want to discuss these options with your healthcare provider. Also keeping your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar controlled, maintaining an appropriate weight and regular exercise are of utmost importance.