The operation as you probably realise involves splitting your breastbone to get at your heart, and taking a vein from your leg to provide grafts. In a moment of sheer boredom one afternoon I took these two photographs whilst playing with my new Sony-Ericsson C902 Cybershot Phone (another toy for this boy).
What you can see here is the main incision scar plus two small incisions where drain pipes were inserted. In addition to these, I also had a small incision for some trace wires (just in case my heart rate needed regulating; as far as I know this was not needed), and there was another one in my neck. These two had completely healed at the time I took this photograph – about 6 weeks after the operation.
The second photograph (below) shows the rather long scar from my left leg. I was told that is was “just too good a vein to pass up” even though I’d requested that if at all possible it should be taken from the other leg. It was suggested to me that it is easier for right-handed surgeons to take the vein from the left leg, but I’m sure that was not part of the team’s decision-making!
The vein is then (apparently) cleaned and chopped into the requisite number of pieces (in my case four, because the fifth and most important by-pass was being provided by a mammary artery), turned the other way round because a vein now has to become an artery and then grafted into the right place.
But just to make you smile and take the eyes away from the gruesome, I’m also including a photograph of the chocolate heart that I mentioned in an earlier post (27th October) that had such an important effect at that particular moment in my recovery and psychological healing. Thanks @MEHarrison1 and @PGHarrison – it still remains uneaten and awaits the day when I really feel 100% again and able to eat it without feeling guilty. 🙂