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Coronary artery bypass surgery or coronary artery bypasses grafting (CABG), also known bypass surgery. This surgery is done to replace blocked or damaged arteries that supply blood to heart muscle. If arteries are blocked or damaged, the heart is not working very well and this may cause heart attack or heart failure.
Types of heart bypass surgery
- Single bypass surgery- Only one artery is blocked.
- Double bypass surgery- Two arteries are blocked.
- Triple bypass surgery- Three arteries are blocked.
- Quadruple bypass surgery- Four arteries are blocked.
Doctors suggest a certain type of bypass surgery depends on the number of blocked arteries.
Doctors perform surgery under general anesthesia; they make an incision in the middle chest. In modern times surgeons opt for robotic surgery which is minimally invasive procedure.
Procedure starts with blood vessels taken from other parts of body, such as leg and chest. These vessels are sewn on the existing heart vessels before and after the blockage. This procedure does not require a heart-lung machine; it is performed while heart is still beating. This procedure is also called an off-pump coronary artery bypass.
Sometimes procedure is done using a heart-lung machine which is a complex device that performs the work of heart and lungs during the surgery.
Surgeons place chest tubes to drain fluids; these tubes are removed within a few days of surgery. The sternum is sewn using a particular surgical wire and skin is closed with staples and sutures, then patient is taken to the ICU for monitoring. Heart bypass surgery takes 2 months or more for recovery. At the time of discharge, medical team will give the patient some instructions, such as:
- Caring for the incision.
- Getting plenty of rest.
- Abstaining from physical activity.