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Dr: can the wires used in bypass surgery dissolve in time?
Anon_963 posted:
My husband had his bypass surgery 36 years ago--had it closed with wires. Do they do it with wires now? He wants to know if they are still there or if they 'dissolve' or ???
Wondering because he's having physical therapy for back pain and the pressure used on his back while lying on his stomach, puts pressure on his chest area and he wondered if the 'wires' could break.

He's also had an endovascular abdominal graft for an AAA 2 years ago and was told he couldn't have an MRI because of this. If required to diagnose a lower back problem, we wonder how they could do that if not with an MRI? However, another doctor said the Radiologist just needs to know about the graft and they can do an MRI safely with these grafts in patients. Do you know anything about this--is it safe to have? If you don't know, who would? A radiologist or ??? Thanks
cardiostarusa1 responded:

I'm not a doctor, but in the meantime, can provide general information/some answers for you.

MRI Safety

(**Please read thoroughly)

Coils, Filters, and Stents

Coils, stents, filters and vascular grafts have been evaluated relative to the use of MR systems......

"Do they do it with wires now?"


"He wants to know if they are still there or if they 'dissolve' or ???"

They should still be there. They don't dissolve (as of course, some stitches do).

"He wondered if the 'wires' could break."

Sounds unlikely now, though anything is seemingly possible today. It is known that, in some cases, sternum (breastbone) wires may/can fracture or break, though if occurring, is typically early on after surgery.

Best of luck to your husband and you down the road of life.

Take care,


WebMD member (since 8/99)



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Anon_963 replied to cardiostarusa1's response:
Excellent website--thanks. I don't understand it all and so will definitely check --again with my husband's doctor regarding this and also the wires in the chest---issue.
cardiostarusa1 replied to Anon_963's response:
You're welcome.

......"and was told he couldn't have an MRI because of this."

" However, another doctor said the radiologist just needs to know about the graft and they can do an MRI safely with these grafts in patients".

If you have any doubt beyond what a doctor or radiologist says, you can always contact the manufacturer directly and simply ask if it is deemed MRI safe or MRI compatible.

As reported, the majority of endovascular aortic stent grafts are made from nonferromagnetic materials, composed of mainly 316L stainless steel or nitinol, plus, not only does implantation of the stent graft against the vessel wall provide immediate anchoring, additional anchoring of the stent into the vessel wall occurs over 6-8 weeks, primarily due to tissue ingrowth/endothelialization, in which a thin layer of cells gradually grows over and covers over the stent.


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