Heart Bypass Surgery

Heart bypass surgery, also known as coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG), is a way to replace blocked coronary arteries with other blood vessels of the patient.

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Hospitalization

Yes

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Length of stay

7 to 10 Days

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Anesthesia

General or IV Sedation

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Length of procedure

3 to 6 Hours

What is heart bypass surgery?

Heart bypass surgery or coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) is performed to improve blood flow to the heart if the coronary arteries are blocked or damaged. These arteries supply oxygen to your heart. If these arteries are blocked or for some reason, the blood supply to the heart is restricted, the heart will not function properly. In these situations, your cardiologist will use blood vessels of other parts of your body to bypass damaged blood vessels. When a substance called plaque deposits on your arterial walls, less blood reaches your heart muscle. This type of coronary artery disease (CAD) is called atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis can affect any of the arteries in your body. If this happens in the heart, it can lead to heart failure. If your coronary artery blockage is so severe that you are at risk for a heart attack and medications and other therapies are unsuccessful, your doctor will recommend heart bypass surgery.

• Patients with a severe blockage in the large coronary arteries. • Patients with an arterial blockage that cannot be treated with angioplasty.

If this coronary artery bypass surgery is not an emergency procedure, you are likely to have several visits before surgery and the surgeon will ask about your medical history, allergies, medications, and supplements. You will also be asked to do some tests, such as blood tests, chest X-rays, electrocardiograms (ECGs or EKGs) and angiograms. These tests will help your surgeon correctly identify and select the appropriate treatment. If your doctor finds you need to have heart bypass surgery, it will give you instructions and procedures before surgery. Your surgeon may prescribe specific medications before surgery. Tell your doctor about any drugs that affect your blood coagulation. You may need to discontinue some of them. Since smoking is bad for heart health and can increase the recovery process after surgery, it is best to quit. Tell your doctor if you have symptoms of a cold or flu. These diseases, especially the flu, put pressure on the heart and can increase the chance of a heart attack or worsen heart failure. It can also cause myocarditis, pericarditis, or both. Since midnight before surgery, you should avoid eating and drinking.

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Discomfort
Mild to Moderate (controlled with prescription pain medications)
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Duration of results
Depends on where in heart and how severe blockages are.
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Potential risks
Bleeding, bruises, soreness, swelling or pain, scars, infection
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Scars
Probable scars

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