Your heart is a muscle, and like all muscles, it needs blood in order to work. Your heart gets its blood supply from your coronary arteries. But sometimes, blockages or severe narrowing in the arteries reduces that blood supply and affects the hearts ability to function.
A coronary artery bypass graft—or bypass surgery—involves taking a blood vessel from another part of your body and using it to bypass the blocked artery, restoring blood flow to the heart. After blood flow is reestablished, normal heart function may return in time. Coronary artery bypass graft surgery (sometimes called CABG or “cabbage” for short) is the most common type of procedure known as revascularization.
Coronary artery bypass grafts are generally for patients who have multiple blockages, as opposed to those who have one or two blockages, in which case angioplasty and stenting may be a more appropriate treatment.
For most people, CABG surgery extends the length and quality of their life. Most patients who undergo the procedure at UR Medicine experience long-term success. Many no longer have symptoms of angina, and may even feel more energetic. Today, there are new procedures available to make the bypass surgery less traumatic.
This is major surgery that requires general anesthesia. It usually takes 4-8 hours for physicians to complete the procedure. Here’s how it works:
Most patients will stay in our Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for one or two days, and then in a step-down unit for an additional three to five days.
There are several risks of coronary artery bypass surgery, including:
UR Medicine is a referral center for the most complex heart surgeries, which means other hospitals in the Rochester area send their most challenging cases to us.
For details on bypass surgery at UR Medicine, contact us at (585) 275-5384.