Coronary bypass surgery:

Coronary bypass surgery: 

Coronary artery bypass grafting is a surgery that restores blood flow to areas of your heart that aren’t getting enough blood. This surgery can improve your heart function and how you feel, especially when you’ve just had a heart attack or there’s an increased risk for you to have one in the near future.

Why is it needed?

Coronary artery bypass surgery is done to restore blood flow around a blocked heart artery. The surgery may be done as an emergency treatment for a heart attack if other immediate treatments aren't working.

Your healthcare provider might recommend coronary artery bypass surgery if you have:

  • A blockage in the left main heart artery. This artery supplies a lot of blood to the heart muscle.
  • Severe narrowing of the main heart artery.
  • Severe chest pain caused by narrowing of several heart arteries. The narrowing reduces blood flow to the heart even during light exercise or at rest.
  • More than one diseased heart artery and your lower left heart chamber doesn't work well.
  • A blocked heart artery that can't be treated with coronary angioplasty. This less-invasive treatment uses a balloon on the tip of a thin tube, called a catheter, to widen the artery. A small coil called a stent is typically used to keep the artery open.
  • An angioplasty with or without a stent that hasn't worked. For example, an artery narrowed again after stenting.


Your doctor uses coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) to treat a blockage or narrowing of one or more of the coronary arteries to restore the blood supply to your heart muscle.

Symptoms of coronary artery disease may include:

  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue (severe tiredness)
  • Palpitations
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling in the hands and feet
  • Indigestion

Unfortunately, you may not have any symptoms in early coronary artery disease, yet the disease will continue to progress until there’s enough artery blockage to cause symptoms and problems. If the blood supply to your heart muscle continues to decrease as a result of increasing blockage of a coronary artery, you may have a heart attack. If the blood flow can’t be restored to the particular area of the heart muscle affected, the tissue dies.

There may be other reasons for your doctor to recommend CABG surgery.


Before you can undergo CABG, you will need to undergo several tests to see if it's safe for you to have this surgery and whether or not you need the surgery in the first place.

The potential tests include, but aren’t limited to, the following:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG).
  • Echocardiogram.
  • Exercise stress test.
  • Nuclear cardiac stress test.
  • Cardiac catheterization.
  • X-ray angiography or computed tomography (CT) scan angiography.
  • Coronary calcium scan.
  • Lab tests, such as a complete blood count, that analyze your cholesterol, blood sugar, and other factors. Other possible tests include urine tests that analyze how well your kidneys function.

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