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What Is Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG)?

Coronary Artery Bypass Graft or CABG is a surgical procedure to restore blood flow to the areas of the heart that are not getting enough blood. The surgery is done to create a detour around the blocked/congested coronary arteries by using healthy blood vessels from other parts of the body.

Our heart pumps oxygenated blood through a network of arteries to the different parts of the body. However, due to unhealthy lifestyles, eating habits, or any existing medical condition, the blood flow to the brain and other essential organs is obstructed causing an irregular heartbeat. Prolonged blockage can also increase the risk of heart attacks and are often life-threatening.

What are the Different Types of CABG (Coronary Artery Bypass Graft) procedures?

There are different techniques used during the CABG procedure depending on the complexity of the condition, choice of procedure, and availability of machines. CABG surgery types include the following - 

  • Off-Pump CABG Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive CABG Procedure
  • Robot-Assisted CABG Surgery
  • Hybrid Procedure

When to see a Doctor for CABG Treatment?

Consult a doctor in case you have a deteriorating heart condition or are experiencing symptoms of prolonged heart disease. After the diagnosis, the doctor may recommend a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) procedure in case of the following - 

  • Medications and therapies are ineffective in managing the symptoms of heart diseases
  • Full or partial blockage in the left main artery in the heart
  • Severe narrowing of the main heart artery due to congenital heart disorder
  • Prolonged chest pain (angina) due to the narrowing of several heart arteries
  • Reduced blood flow to the heart without heavy exercise
  • Defects in the artery and the lower left heart chamber
  • Coronary Angioplasty is ineffective in treating blocked heart arteries

Advanced Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) procedure by BM Birla Kolkata


CABG procedure is likely recommended for patients with coronary heart disease. However, most symptoms of coronary artery blockage also resemble other medical conditions. Therefore, a comprehensive diagnosis can indicate coronary heart disease and helps the doctor choose the most effective treatment option. The doctor may recommend the following diagnostic tests before the CABG procedure to assess the patient’s overall health and the risk associated with the surgery - 

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
  • Echocardiogram
  • Exercise Stress Test
  • Nuclear Cardiac Stress Test
  • Cardiac Catheterization
  • X-ray angiography 
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan
  • Coronary calcium scan
  • Urinalysis
  • Blood test

Before The Procedure:

After the diagnosis, the doctor will provide pre-surgery instructions to help you prepare for the procedure. Since the procedure is done under anaesthesia, the doctor will advise you to not eat or drink 8 to 9 hours before the surgery. Also, it is important to inform your doctor of any ongoing medications, existing medical conditions, or history of allergies due to anaesthesia to avoid complications during the surgery. 

During The Procedure:

CABG is a major surgery where healthy blood vessels are taken from another part of the body (mostly the chest, legs or arms) and attached to the coronary arteries above and below the congested arteries. The new blood vessels are called grafts and the number of grafts needed depends on the amount of defective coronary blood vessels. 

The patient is given general anaesthesia before the procedure to reduce the pain and discomfort during the procedure. Then, a breathing tube is inserted into the mouth which is attached to the ventilator to allow smooth airflow. Additionally, in the case of the On-Pump Coronary Bypass procedure, the doctor may place a heart-lung machine to keep the blood and oxygen flowing through the body. 

The surgery begins with the surgeon making an incision in the centre of the chest along the breastbone. After gaining access to the heart, the surgeon removes a section of healthy blood vessels (graft) from the chest or other body parts and attaches it below the blocked heart artery. This creates a new passage for blood to flow around the obstructed or blocked artery. Depending on the number of arteries blocked, the surgeon may place multiple grafts. CABG procedure can be done via minimally invasive techniques where the surgeon makes small incisions in the chest and leverages robotic-assisted devices.

After The Procedure:

After the CABG Surgery, the patient is taken to the recovery room for observation where a team of healthcare providers monitor the health and keep a check on the vitals. The patient may feel sore and there may be mild discomfort around the area of the incision as the effect of general anaesthesia wears off. Depending on the recovery, the patient may be expected to stay in the hospital for 2-3 days. 

The doctor may also prescribe some medications to reduce the pain and discomfort. Along with that, the patient is also given a diet chart and preventive measures to ensure a speedy recovery. 

Why Choose BMB for CABG Treatment in Kolkata?

BM Birla Heart Research Centre is a super speciality hospital with modern infrastructure and state-of-the-art technology in Kolkata. BM Birla Heart Research Centre is the only hospital offering super speciality cardiac care in the entire of eastern India. With a 200+ bed capacity, cardiac rehabilitation services, cath labs and modular OTs, BM Birla Heart Research Centre has made a mark with its singular focus on the treatment of a wide variety of cardiac ailments. Here are a few advantages of choosing BM Birla Heart Research Centre for your CABG treatment - 

  • Highly qualified and experienced cardiologists
  • Cutting-edge technology and the latest medical equipment
  • Transparent Pricing Structure for cost-effective treatment. 
  • Patient-centric high-quality care for a high success rate

Get in touch with our expert heart doctors at BM Birla Heart Research Centre, Kolkata for complete cardiac care. 


What are the possible risks of CABG surgery?

While the CAGB procedure is safe, there are slight chances of complications depending on the health of the patient, the severity of artery blockage, and the expertise of the surgeon. Possible CABG complications include - 

Where can I get the best treatment for the CABG procedure?

BM Birla Heart Research Centre is a super-specialty hospital with cutting-edge technology and modern infrastructure. Our experienced cardiologists specialize in treating patients with severe heart disorders and comorbidities. Get in touch with us to book an appointment with our leading cardiologists for your heart problems.  

How long does the CABG procedure take?

Depending on the type and medical health of the patient, the coronary artery bypass graft surgery can anywhere between 3 to 6 hours. 

Is CABG surgery painful?

No, the procedure is done under general anesthesia and so, the patient is asleep throughout the surgery. However, there may be some discomfort and pain around the site of the incision as the effect of anesthesia wears off. 

What is the recovery time after the CABG procedure?

The recovery time after the CABG procedure depends on the medical health of the patient, the type of procedure, and the surgical expertise of the surgeon. However, the patient may take several weeks to recover. Going for regular health checkups can also ensure a faster recovery.


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