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australia1952 posted:
During my last angiogram, I was told that my three heart arteries were completely blocked, but my heart produced its own bypass. No surgery for the time being, but will be treated with medicine.
What are these natural bypass? How can I help them to be efficient and effective? Any special supplements, exercises, anything else that may help??
cardiostarusa1 responded:

......"but my heart produced its own bypass"

"What are these natural bypass?"

In general, coronary artery collaterals (a "natural" development, a gradual process, one's own "bio-bypass" so to speak) involves tiny (rescue or backup) vessels, that connect two larger coronary arteries or different segments of the same artery. These vessels provide an alternate route for blood flow to the heart muscle (myocardium) when called for in an emergency.

Those who have well-developed (and open) coronary artery collaterals are the lucky ones (as my father was), because this form of blood supply helps protect the heart from an attack, or limits the damage to the heart muscle from tissue death if/when the normal blood supply is totally cut off (100% blockage).

The main drawback is that these collaterals are not really meant to carry the whole load of the heart, though they may/can provide significant blood flow in some individuals.

These vessels seldom delivers the same amount of blood flow that the unblocked native artery or arteries originally did, but the blood flow may be/can be enough to ease/reduce chest pain/discomfort in some individuals and reduce the risk of a serious heart attack or death some time later on.

"How can I help them to be efficient and effective? Any special supplements, exercises, anything else that may help??"

This should be discussed with your cardiologist first and foremost.

Best of luck down the road of life..

Take care,


WebMD member (since 8/99)



Be well-informed

Coronary artery anatomy

Starting with the left anterior descending (LAD), the most critical, next to the ultra-critical left main (LM).


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billh99 responded:
It is call collateral circulation.

It is part of the normal body response to lack of oxygen.

I have a visual example of it. About a year ago I took most of the hide off my knee in a bike accident. When it first healed it was bright red.

And if you pressed on the area it would blanch. That is turn white as it was deprived of blood and take a couple of seconds to refill. It was getting blood only through the fine capillaries.

Over the months, as larger blood vessels regrew, it has slow returned to normal.

Here are several articles on collateral circulation in the heart.

I don't know of any thing other then exercise, moderate or harder endurance exercise, that will encourage growth.

But smoking and a poor diet will inhibit it.
piet1936 replied to billh99's response:
Thanks for the interesting links. You might lo like to hear another intelligent perspective on -

Xrays of my own recent (January 2014) heart attack showed substantial collateral development and I have been having EECP therapy to enhance this. So far so good.
Good luck

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