10/14/11 The "Spiral"

I have been asked a lot how the saphenous vein was increased in diameter to become my new jugular vein, so I'll try to explain. 

Imagine the saphenous vein is removed and laying on a table like any normal drinking straw.  Slice along the top side of the straw, then lay it down flat on the table so now it's like a ribbon.  Now, wrap the ribbon around a metal pole of any diameter in a spiral, like a barber's pole or a toilet paper roll, and stitch it up while on the pole so it holds its shape.  When you do this, you can increase the diameter to any amount, so long as the ribbon is long enough.  This is why they took the whole thing out of my leg.  Snip the ends so they are straight, and insert the newly widened tube into the neck and call it a jugular vein.

The crucial component of this is patience.  Dr. Stone said the surgeons all took turns stitching up my new jugular vein because it was meticulous and tedious work.  Each and every stitch - hundreds of them - had to be deep enough into the tissue to give it structural support, but not too deep so as to penetrate the blood side which would allow the stitching material to interact with the blood flow, causing the very clotting we we trying to avoid. 

This surgery isn't for rookies or anyone with an afternoon golf game.

1 comment:

deej said...

Thanks so much, Mike, for your detailed descriptions. It is dangerous and scary, but I have no other options. I have seen Dr. Stone and am getting labs and C.T. of my neck and chest done. Of course I have to see Dr. Wingerchuk and I am aware that he is conservative about this surgery.