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A Guide to Understanding Coronary Bypass Surgery: Purpose, Procedure and Recovery

Home > Blogs > A Guide to Understanding Coronary Bypass Surgery: Purpose, Procedure and Recovery

A Guide to Understanding Coronary Bypass Surgery: Purpose, Procedure and Recovery

Cardiac Sciences | Posted on 02/24/2024 by Dr. Amit Gupta


If your heart is not pumping sufficient blood throughout the entire body, you might have to get coronary artery bypass graft surgery done. Yes, that’s true, because our heart pumps blood throughout the body nonstop. The human heart requires blood flow for proper functioning, provided by a system of supply arteries surrounding it. Ischemia, pronounced "iss-key-me-uh," is a condition arising when tissues in the body are not receiving sufficient blood flow.

Your heart's muscle cells are specifically susceptible to ischemia, and in certain serious cases, they start to die. Coronary artery bypass grafting, also known as CABG and referred to as "cabbage," involves replacing damaged heart muscle tissue with blood flow to treat ischemia. Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery is a procedure usually involved in increasing blood flow in the heart muscles by bypassing restricted or narrowed coronary arteries. If you are looking for the best coronary artery bypass graft surgery, then you should book your appointment with the best cardiologist in Jaipur at CK Birla Hospital, Jaipur. You will find the best surgeons here. 

In this blog, we will discuss everything related to coronary artery bypass grafting surgery so make sure to give it a reading till the end for your understanding. However, kindly note that this is for informative purposes only and we do not construe the doctor’s consultation in any way. 

What is Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery?

Coronary artery bypass graft surgery referred to as CABG or bypass surgery involves forming new trails for blood to flow around the restricted or narrowed coronary arteries. This is often accomplished using healthy blood vessels harvested from different body parts like the chest, leg, or arm for creating bypass grafts. It is an important intervention for patients with serious coronary artery disease (CAD), a condition blocking blood flow to the heart due to plaque accumulation within the arteries.

What are the benefits of coronary artery bypass graft surgery?

Coronary artery bypass grafting surgery has various benefits making it a common part of treating heart issues. Here are some of them: 

  • The surgery is beneficial in appropriate blood flow to the heart muscles.
  • With the involvement of coronary artery bypass grafting surgery, symptoms of angina (chest pain) and shortness of breath can be relieved.
  • The use of CABG helps in minimizing the risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular-related problems.
  • This is useful in enhancing overall quality of life and longevity.

What are the types of coronary artery bypass graft surgery? 

CABG surgery is categorized into four different categories that are:

  • Traditional CABG: It involves chest opening and reaching the heart through a sternotomy (midline incision).
  • Minimally Invasive CABG: This type involves the utilization of smaller incisions and specialized instruments to reach the heart, leading to reduced trauma and quick recovery.
  • Off-pump CABG: This type is performed without using a heart-lung bypass machine, allowing surgery to be initiated on a beating heart.
  • Robotic-assisted CABG: In this type, robotic arms are employed which are controlled by a surgeon to initiate accurate maneuvers during surgery, providing improved precision and dexterity.

What is the procedure for coronary artery bypass graft surgery?

CABG surgeons involve steps while performing the procedure to reduce heart blockage so that the heart can pump blood efficiently: 

  • Anesthesia: At first, general anesthesia is given to the patient to make sure that he/she remains unconscious and pain-free during the procedure.
  • Chest Incision: To reach the heart, the surgeon involves making a sternotomy or smaller incisions.
  • Harvesting Grafts: Healthy blood vessels also known as the internal mammary artery or saphenous vein often are gathered from the patient's body.
  • Bypass Grafting: Gathered blood vessels are then connected to the coronary arteries beyond the blockages, forming new pathways for blood flow.
  • Closure: Lastly, the surgeon will close the chest incisions through the use of sutures or staples after ensuring the right blood flow through the grafts.

What are the indications for coronary artery bypass graft surgery?

There are certain indications for coronary artery bypass graft surgery that involve: 

  • Serious coronary artery disease with notable blockages
  • Determined angina symptoms regardless of clinical treatment
  • Left main coronary artery disease
  • Triple-vessel disease
  • Failed earlier coronary interventions (angioplasty and stenting)

How does recovery look like coronary bypass artery graft surgery?

Once CABG surgery is initiated, certain steps should be followed. Here are some of them:

  • Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Monitoring: Surgeons ensure the monitoring of the patients in the ICU promptly after surgery to ensure stability.
  • Pain Management: Pain medications are directed at reducing discomfort linked to the surgical incisions.
  • Mobilization: Initial mobilization and physical therapy are promoted to avert complications such as blood clots and muscle weakness.
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation: An organized method that involves exercise, education, and counseling to encourage heart health and recovery is administered.
  • Medication Management: Patients are given medications for blood pressure and cholesterol levels management, and to prevent blood clots.
  • Follow-up Care: Regular follow-up appointments with healthcare experts are essential to assess progress and manage treatment as required.


In conclusion, coronary artery bypass graft surgery is among the highly efficient treatment options for artery disease, providing numerous benefits when it comes to symptom relief, enhanced quality of life, and decreased cardiovascular risks. Comprehending the procedure, its types, indications, and recovery process is important for patients and their families to make informed decisions and make the best of outcomes.



What is the life expectancy after CABG?

Patients who undergo CABG surgery experience a long and healthy life. Their life expectancy increases up to more than ten years depending on person to person and their health conditions.

When is CABG required?

CABG surgery is usually suggested and involved when the grades of coronary artery blockages are high and when any other method like percutaneous coronary intervention is not useful to reduce the blockage.

What to eat after CABG surgery?

Healthcare professionals often recommend following a healthy and nutritious diet such as lean meats, fish, green vegetables, whole grains, fruits, low-fat dairy products, etc.