The excellent long-term patency rates achieved with use of the internal mammary artery (IMA) to bypass the left anterior descending coronary artery have stimulated a variety of approaches to expand the use of this conduit in coronary bypass surgery. In this report we document our results using the two terminal branches of the IMA to bypass two arteries in a Y configuration. Sixty-seven patients received IMA Y grafts during a 6-month period in 1987. A total of 150 IMA branch anastomoses were performed (8 patients received bilateral IMA Y grafts). Fourteen of 67 patients were revascularized using IMA grafts only. Operative mortality was 2 of 67 (3%), and follow-up mortality was 5 of 67 (7.5%). Fifty-eight patients could be evaluated 37 +/- 2.7 months later. Clinically 36% of patients reported some recurrence of angina and 12 of 47 (25%) had a positive electrocardiographic stress test. Four patients were reoperated on (2 redo coronary artery bypass grafting, 2 transplants). Sixty (40%) of the 150 branch anastomoses could be evaluated objectively and 30 (50%) were patent. Five (8.5%) were stenotic and 25 (41.5%) were occluded (overall patency rate, 58.5%). We conclude that although the use of IMA Y grafts is a technically feasible means to increase IMA usage, extended application of this technique cannot be recommended unless improved patency rates can be demonstrated.