Atherosclerosis is the major pathology causing death in the developed world and, although risk factor modification has improved outcomes over the last decade, there is no cure. The role of the vasa vasora (VV) in the pathogenesis of atherosclerotic plaque is unclear but must relate to the predictability of diseased sites in the arterial tree. VV are small vessels found on major arteries and veins which supply nutrients and oxygen to the vessel wall itself while removing waste. Numerous studies have been carried out to investigate the anatomy and function of the VV as well as their significance in vascular disease. There is convincing evidence that VV are related to atherosclerotic plaque progression and vessel thrombosis, however, their link to the pathology of plaque initiation remains an interesting but neglected topic. We aim to present the evidence on the anatomy and functional behaviour of VV as well as their relationship to the initiation of atherosclerosis. At the same time, we wish to highlight inconsistencies in, and limitations of, the evidence available.