Heart Surgery to Improve Blood Flow in Blocked Arteries
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery is one of the many ways expert cardiothoracic surgeons at Loyola treat coronary heart disease. If you have poor blood flow to your heart that is caused by a blocked artery, you may be a candidate for CABG surgery.
During CABG surgery, your skilled Loyola surgeon will use a healthy artery or vein from another location in your body and connect (graft) it to the blocked artery, enabling blood to bypass the damaged portion of your artery and improve blood flow to your heart. Artery treatment with CABG surgery can be performed in one of three ways:
- Minimally invasive CABG surgery (keyhole surgery) — The chest bone remains closed and small cuts are made in the chest between the ribs
- Off-pump CABG surgery — The chest bone is opened to access the heart and the heart continues to beat during surgery
- Traditional CABG surgery — The chest bone is opened to access the heart and medicine is given to prevent the heart from beating
Your doctor will evaluate your specific case to determine which CABG surgery is right for you.
Why Choose Loyola for CABG Surgery?
Loyola’s cardiology and heart surgery program is nationally ranked for our diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular conditions and has been nationally recognized for heart bypass surgery by U.S. News & World Report's 2019-20 Best Hospitals list. We work with you to help you understand your condition and develop a treatment plan that is right for you.
What to Expect
What to Expect with Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery
Your CABG surgery will be done in one of Loyola’s state-of-the-art operating rooms under anesthesia. During your procedure, your cardiac surgeon will create a new pathway for blood to bypass the blockage and reach your heart, thus relieving symptoms like severe chest pain and shortness of breath. It may also reduce your risk of heart attack.
During traditional surgery, a heart-lung bypass machine will be used to take over the pumping action of your heart, allowing your surgeon to operate with no blood flowing through your heart and no movement of your heart during the procedure. As an alternative, beating-heart surgery, also known as off-pump CABG (OPCAB), allows blood to bypass the coronary artery during your procedure while your heart is still beating.
Minimally invasive direct CABG (MIDCAB) involves a small incision between two ribs on the left side of your chest. Your surgeon will remove part of the internal mammary artery from your chest and attach it to the coronary arteries, thus bypassing your diseased artery. This may be done directly or with assistance of a robotic surgical system.
What are the Risks of Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery?
While CABG surgery is generally successful, any surgical procedure carries risks, which may include:
- Heart attack during surgery
- Infection or bleeding
- Memory loss or brain fog
- Reactions to anesthesia
- Stroke during surgery