Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting - CABG
More than 300,000 people have successful bypass surgery in the United States
each year. It is sometimes also called coronary artery bypass graft surgery
(CABG), coronary artery bypass, coronary bypass or bypass surgery.
In this procedure, a section of vein from your leg, chest or another part
of your body is used to bypass the blocked or diseased portion of a coronary
artery, which brings blood to the muscle of your heart. This creates a
new, clear way for the blood to flow to get oxygen to your heart muscle
so it can work properly. This type of surgery is done to the outer walls
of the heart; it doesn't require opening up the chambers of the heart.
Sometimes people talk about single, double, triple or quadruple bypass
surgery. This refers to the number of blocked arteries that had to be
bypassed. However, the need for more bypasses doesn't necessarily
mean the heart condition is worse.
During bypass surgery, the breastbone (sternum) is divided. The heart itself
is stopped and cooled. The blood that normally would be pumped by the
heart is sent through a heart-lung machine. A long piece of vein may be
removed. In some cases, a small vein from the lower arm, the radial artery,
may be used for the bypass. This is called a graft. One end will be attached
to the ascending aorta, the large artery that carries oxygen-rich blood
from the heart to the rest of the body. The other end of the graft will
be attached to a coronary artery below the blocked area. The surgery takes
two to six hours, depending on the number of bypasses needed.