What is Bypass Heart Surgery?

bypass heart surgery

Bypass Heart Surgery is a surgery done to create bypass for supplying blood and oxygen to the heart when normal supplying arteries get blocked. In the surgery, a healthier vein/artery from a different part of the body is connected or grafted to the blocked artery.

In this way, maximum four blocked arteries can be bypassed.

Need for Bypass Heart Surgery

Major factor that demands Bypass Heart Surgery is the occurrence of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) in the Patient. What is CAD? Arteries are responsible for carrying blood from heart to other parts of body. Due to diet and other reasons, plaque forms in the arteries. When this narrows the arteries by about 70% then it is termed as blocked. When the arteries are blocked, the pumping action of heart is weakened and this is known as CAD. When a patient is infected by CAD then Bypass Heart Surgery is essential to cure the patient.

Pre Surgery Tests

Before performing the Bypass Heart Surgery, the surgeon will check the patient’s cardiovascular system, pulse and conduct other tests like ECG test, Stress test, Echocardiogram test, Angiogram, etc. The patient’s history of other diseases will also be noted. A general health check up is done prior to the surgery.

Bypass Heart Surgery Procedure

Initially the patient will be given anesthesia and made asleep during the Surgery. The surgeon will then make a surgical cut of about 6-8 inches at the middle of the patient’s chest. Then the breastbone of the patient will be opened and the heart, blood vessels, heart are made visible to perform the surgery. After that, the patient’s heart will be stopped and an external bypass pump or heart-lung bypass machine will be connected. This machine functions and performs as the heart throughout the surgery.

Then the surgeon will take a vein or artery from other parts of the body. One end of this artery will be connected to the coronary artery and other end to the aorta. Generally the arteries taken from other parts include leg, blood vessel in the chest called as internal mammary artery (IMA), radial artery from the wrist, etc. After the bypass or grafting is done, the breastbone is closed with a wire. Also the surgical cut initially made will be stitched finally.

Normally this surgery will take about 4 to 6 hours and when it is completed, the patient will be moved to intensive care unit (ICU) for observation.

Types of Bypass Heart Surgery

Bypass Heart Surgery may also be termed as Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting / Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery. There are various types of Bypass Heart Surgery namely Off Pump Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (OPCAB), Minimally Invasive Direct Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting, Port Access Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting, and many more.

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