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Bypass surgery

What is bypass surgery?

Bypass surgery or coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) is used to treat a condition called coronary artery disease (CAD). This surgery helps in improving the blood flow to an individual’s heart suffering from CAD.  The blood vessels are taken from another part of the body so that damaged arteries are bypassed.

The surgery is only recommended when there is a blockage in the coronary arteries or if they are damaged. The arteries supply oxygenated blood to the heart and if they are blocked or the blood flow is limited, then the heart stops working properly leading to heart failure. One should get this surgery done immediately if recommended by the doctor as delayed treatment can be life-threatening.

Types of bypass surgery

The doctor recommends a certain type of bypass surgery after identifying how many arteries are blocked. The types of coronary artery bypass surgery are:

  • Single bypass: Help to treat one blocked artery
  • Double bypass: Treats two blocked arteries
  • Triples bypass: Recommended for three blocked arteries
  • Quadruple bypass: Treats four blocked arteries

The risk of experiencing a cardiac arrest, heart attack, or heart failure depends on the number of arteries blocked. If the number of blocked arteries is more, then it means that the surgery can be complex and may take longer time.

Why is heart bypass surgery done?

Heart bypass surgery is performed for restoring blood flow. It is an emergency treatment for a heart attack or a stroke and is recommended when:

  • There is a blockage in the left main artery
  • An individual experiences unbearable chest pain
  • Narrowing of the main heart artery
  • The lower left heart chamber is not working well
  • An angioplasty hasn’t worked well with or without a stent

How is the requirement for coronary heart bypass surgery determined?

The team of doctors which includes cardiologists first will determine the need for open-heart surgery. There are certain medical conditions they will consider to avoid complications in the surgery or reject it as a possibility. These conditions are kidney disease, peripheral arterial disease (PAD), emphysema, and diabetes.

It is important to discuss any issues with the doctor before planning the surgery. One must also talk about their family clinical history and any over-the-counter (OTC) medications if they are taking them. The outcome of planned surgery is better than emergency surgery.

What are the risks of heart bypass surgery?

Heart bypass surgery like any open-heart surgery carries certain risks. Recent advancements in the medical field have improved the procedure, enhancing the probability of a successful surgery. However, there are still certain risks which can cause complications after the surgery. It includes:

How is the bypass surgery procedure performed?

Before performing the surgery, the patient needs to change into a hospital gown and the doctor will give fluids, medication, and anesthesia through an IV. The patient will fall into a painless and deep sleep. Here are the steps followed to perform the procedure:

  • The first step

In the first step of heart bypass surgery, the doctor will begin making an incision in the middle of the chest. To expose the heart, the rib cage is spread apart. The doctor might also choose minimally invasive surgery comprising smaller cuts, robotic procedures, and miniature instruments.

  • Connecting to the cardiopulmonary bypass machine

The next step involves hooking up the patient to a cardiopulmonary bypass machine circulating the oxygenated blood throughout the body while the doctor is operating on the patient’s heart. In some cases, there is no need to connect to the cardiopulmonary bypass machine and the surgery is performed off-pump.

  • Grafting

The doctor will remove the healthy blood vessel from the body part such as the leg to bypass the blocked artery in this step.

  • The final step

In the final step, when the surgery is done, the doctor will check the bypass function. Once it starts working, the patient will be stitched up, bandaged, and shifted to the intensive care unit (ICU) for observation.

What medications are given after the heart bypass surgery?

After performing the coronary artery bypass graft surgery, the doctor will give certain medications that will help manage pain like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. There are other medications recommended to help the patient throughout their recovery process. It is important to consult your doctor before taking any medication especially if someone has conditions like diabetes or any stomach and liver-related conditions.

Type of drugs usually given are:

  • Antiplatelet drugs: Averts the formation of blood clots.
  • Nitrates: Reduces chest pain and lets blood flow throughout the body smoothly by opening up the arteries
  • Beta-blockers: Restrict the formation of adrenaline in the body and lowers the blood pressure
  • ACE inhibitors: Prevents angiotensin II production in the body. It is a hormone that increases blood pressure and causes narrow blood vessels
  • Lipid-lowering medicines: Lowers bad cholesterol and prevent the risk of heart attacks or strokes

What are the long-term effects of coronary bypass surgery?

After the successful coronary bypass surgery, symptoms like chest tightness, high blood pressure, and shortness of breath will improve. It will also improve blood flow to the heart, but one must make sure to change their habits to prevent the risk of heart illness in future. The finest surgery outcomes are seen among the people who make healthy lifestyle changes. It is recommended to consult about the dietary and lifestyle changes that one must make after surgery.

Why should you choose Rukmani Birla Hospital for coronary heart bypass surgery?

Rukmani Birla Hospital, Jaipur is a renowned multispecialty hospital famous for its unparalleled care for patients. We have the latest clinical equipment in our hospital that assists us to offer top-notch treatment. Get in touch with Our highly-talented and proficient doctors to ensure a smooth experience throughout the patient’s journey.

Here’s why we can be the right pick for you:

  • Affordable treatments and other medical services offered
  • State-of-the-art technology
  • NABH accreditation
  • Highly-qualified professionals 
  • Patient-centric and personalised care


Who are the best candidates for coronary artery bypass graft surgery?

Coronary artery bypass grafting surgery is recommended for individuals suffering from severe coronary artery diseases that can cause a heart attack or a stroke. CABG is suggested when other treatments like medications, and lifestyle changes aren’t working.

What is the difference between on-pump and off-pump bypass surgery?

On-pump bypass surgery is a traditional method to perform bypass surgery whereas, in off-pump surgery, there is no requirement of connecting to a cardiopulmonary bypass machine.

What are the most common complications after heart bypass surgery?

The most complications after heart bypass surgery are stroke, wound infection, the prolonged need for mechanical ventilation, myocardial infarction, and bleeding.


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