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Home > Cardiac Surgery> Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery

Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery

Coronary artery bypass surgery is done to provide "detours" around the partially or completely blocked arteries. With a new open "bypass system" the heart can now receive its much needed blood supply.

Coronary artery bypass surgery is performed to provide relief of angina, to improve the pumping ability of the heart muscle, to prevent heart attacks, and to reduce the use of heart medications, all of which should improve a patient's quality of life. The indications for surgery vary, depending on each patient's symptoms and findings at the time of heart catheterization. Your surgeon and cardiologist will discuss the reasons for recommending surgery to you.

needle The concept of coronary artery bypass surgery is very simple. Healthy arteries or veins are "harvested" to create “bypass grafts” that channel the needed blood flow around the blocked portions of the coronary arteries. The new section of artery can come from the mammary artery in your chest, the radial artery in your forearm, or the saphenous vein in your leg. To learn more about vessel harvesting, click here.

The saphenous vein is commonly used for grafts. These veins are used by the surgeon as an alternate vessel to deliver blood to the heart muscle below the point of the blockage. The surgery reroutes the blood flow to supply areas of the heart muscle not receiving enough blood (See Figure 1).

What is Traditional Bypass Surgery?

Coronary artery bypass surgery has been the main-stay of treating atherosclerotic heart disease with the invention of the heart-lung machine. With "traditional" bypass surgery, surgeons use the assistance of the heart-lung machine along with medications to stop the heart so the bypass can be performed on a motionless field. The heart-lung machine is referred to as a "pump" because it continues to mechanically pump oxygen and nutrients to the body during surgery.

Beating Heart Bypass Surgery

Recent advances in surgery and medical devices allow some patients to have less invasive options in the treatment of coronary artery disease (CAD), such as Beating Heart or "Off-Pump" Bypass Surgery.

To learn more about Beating Heart Bypass Surgery.

To learn more about Endoscopic Vessel Harvesting (EVH).

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The content on this website is intended to provide you with a better understanding of coronary artery disease, beating heart bypass surgery and endoscopic vessel harvesting. The procedures described in this website and related links may not be appropriate for all patients. The information on this website and maintain an open dialogue with you and your an informed discussion with a physician, and is not an endorsement or recommendation of any particular physician.

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