Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery

Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery

What is it?

For patients with severe blockage of the coronary arteries, coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery may be recommended. 

CABG surgery is done in an operating room setting under anesthesia. During the procedure, the cardiac surgeon uses arteries and veins from other parts of the body (grafts) to create a new pathway for blood, thus bypassing the blockage in the diseased artery. This allows oxygen-rich blood to reach the heart muscle, thus relieving symptoms like chest pain (angina) and shortness of breath.  It may also reduce the risk of heart attack.

A heart-lung bypass machine is typically used to take over the pumping action of the heart during surgery, allowing surgeons to operate with no blood flowing through the heart and no movement of the heart during the procedure. Beating-heart surgery, also known as off-pump CABG (OPCAB), may be done on some patients.  This allows blood to bypass the coronary artery during the procedure while the heart is still beating. OPCAB may have benefits for high-risk patients who have a history of stroke or heart attack.

Minimally invasive direct CABG (MIDCAB) involves a small incision between two ribs on the left side of the chest. The surgeon removes part of the internal mammary artery from the chest and attaches it to the coronary arteries, thus bypassing the diseased vessel.  This may be done directly or with assistance of a robotic surgical system.

After surgery patients recover in our intensive care unit with the help of an expert team of physicians, advanced practice nurses, nursing staff and other specialists.

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