People ask me how I am doing.
The official answer is that I am doing a bit better every day.
Which is true, but raises a question:
How do we measure the progress of healing?
( TRIGGER WARNING! The following descriptions are of a medical nature, and may be disturbing to anyone with an idealized impression of the author. Even though he barely hides behind a flimsy pseudonym, he is far from the sensitive soul you imagine him to be. He is, in fact, much more sensitive.)
Recently I went to the doctor, as the leg with the scar had an infection. He said that is a common situation with the harvest leg.
His words, my italics. The harvest leg is the leg which the surgeon designates to harvest the veins from, to graft onto your heart in a coronary artery bypass graft, aka what they call the Cabbage procedure, aka bypass surgery.
I had not heard that phrase prior to that visit, more than two months after my surgery.
The following abstract used without permission is from
Mohammad Salman Siddiqi, Cardiothoracic Surgery Division, Department of Surgery, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Muscat, Oman
Abstract: Coronary artery bypass grafting is a commonly performed surgery worldwide that gives good results. Great saphenous vein is used as a conduit for bypass in over 95% cases. The harvesting technique has remained unchanged over the years. However, wound complications from harvesting the great saphenous vein by open method can be a major source of postoperative morbidity. With the objective of preventing major complications, identification of risk factors for saphenous vein harvest site infection is important. It is imperative to develop approaches that prevent infection and to allow for early recognition of patients who are at high risk and who may need more watchful monitoring so as to prevent development of wound complications. It is desirable to assess the patient completely, delineate the anatomy of peripheral vessels particularly in a patient with associated peripheral vascular disease, identify the best site to perform the saphenous vein harvest incision, employ a meticulous surgical technique, recognize complications early, and start the recommended treatment without delay. The aim of this paper is to identify the risk factors for saphenous vein harvest site complications and their identification, prevention, and management.