Coronary artery bypass is the process of restoring the flow of blood to the heart. The surgical procedure places new blood vessels around existing blockages to restore necessary blood flow to the heart muscle. Once blood flow is re-established normal heart function may return in time.
The most common type of revascularization procedure is Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting, sometimes called CABG ("cabbage"). We routinely use at least one artery from inside the chest (the internal mammary done through the same chest incision). When vein from the leg is needed we often remove it with a scope. We perform coronary artery bypass using on and off pump techniques individualized to patient needs.
Typically, when a patient undergoes open-heart surgery, it is necessary to stop the patient's heart and maintain the body's circulation through the use of cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB), also called the heart-lung machine. There are associated risks with the heart lung machine, such as inflammation, stroke and neurological complications. In recent years, new techniques have been developed called off-pump coronary revascularization, or off-pump bypass surgery. In an off-pump bypass, the heart continues to beat and just the portion of the heart being operated on is stabilized during the surgery. Since the heart continues beating, circulation is maintained without the use of the heart-lung machine (therefore, "off-pump").
If open heart surgery has been recommended for you, it is important to discuss all treatment options with your doctor.
Compared to traditional CABG, off-pump CABG may reduce some complications and improves outcomes in high-risk patients. High-risk patients who benefit most from off-pump coronary revascularization include people:
For more information or to refer a patient for a consultation, call us at (585) 275-5384.