Before your surgery you will get general anesthesia. You will be asleep (unconscious) and pain-free during surgery.
Once you are unconscious, the heart surgeon will make an 8 – 10-inch surgical cut in the middle of your chest. Your breastbone will be separated to create an opening. This allows your surgeon to see your heart and aorta, the main blood vessel leading from the heart to the rest of your body.
This machine does the work of your heart while your heart is stopped for the surgery. The machine adds oxygen to your blood, moves blood through your body, and removes carbon dioxide.
A newer type of bypass surgery does not use the heart-lung bypass machine. The procedure is done while your heart is still beating. This is called off-pump coronary artery bypass, or OPCAB. This procedure may be used if you could have problems while on the heart-lung machine
To create the bypass graft:
After the graft has been created, your breastbone will be closed with wires. These wires stay inside you. The surgical cut will be closed with stitches.
This surgery can take 4 to 6 hours. After the surgery, you will be taken to the intensive care unit.
Why the Procedure is Performed
You may need this procedure if you have a blockage in one or more of your coronary arteries. Coronary arteries are the small blood vessels that supply your heart with oxygen and nutrients that are carried in your blood.
When one or more of the coronary arteries becomes partly or totally blocked, your heart does not get enough blood. This is called ischemic heart disease, or coronary artery disease (CAD). It can cause chest pain (angina).
Coronary artery bypass surgery can be used to improve blood flow to your heart. Your doctor may have first tried to treat you with medicines. You may have also tried exercise and diet changes, or angioplasty with stenting.
Coronary artery disease is different from person to person. The way it is diagnosed and treated will also vary. Heart bypass surgery is just one treatment. It is not right for everyone.
Risks for any surgery include:
Possible risks from having coronary bypass surgery include:
Before the Procedure
Always tell your doctor or nurse what drugs you are taking, even drugs or herbs you bought without a prescription.
During the days before your surgery:
On the day of the surgery:
After the Procedure
Recovery from surgery takes time. You may not see the full benefits of your surgery for 3 to 6 months. In most people who have heart bypass surgery, the grafts stay open and work well for many years.
This surgery does not prevent the coronary artery blockage from coming back. You can do many things to slow this process down, including:
Off-pump coronary artery bypass; OPCAB; Beating heart surgery; Bypass surgery – heart; CABG; Coronary artery bypass graft; Coronary artery bypass surgery; Coronary bypass surgery
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