Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery (CABG)
Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery is the most common type
of heart surgery. When medication and/or other procedures are not able
to improve the blood flow to the heart, bypass surgery improves the
blood flow to the heart muscle, which provides relief of angina symptoms
and may increase life expectancy.
During surgery, the patient is connected to the heart-lung bypass
machine, which takes over the function of the heart and lungs during
surgery. A portion of a blood vessel from the patient’s leg, arm or
inner chest wall is used to bridge the blocked or diseased area and to
improve blood flow to the heart muscle.
The vein or artery is attached to the aorta (large blood vessel
that supplies blood to the heart) at one end and the other end is
attached to the coronary artery below the area of blockage or disease.
The diseased area is essentially “bypassed” and the coronary artery
beyond the blockage receives the oxygen and nutrient-rich blood that is
delivered to the heart muscle.