Coronary Artery Bypass Graphy (CABG)
Cardiology / Cardiac Surgeries
Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting or Heart Bypass
Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is a type of surgery that improves blood flow to the heart. Surgeons use CABG to treat people who have severe coronary heart disease(CHD).
CHD is a disease in which a waxy substance called plaque (plak) builds up inside the coronary arteries. These arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to your heart.
Over time, plaque can harden or rupture (break open). Hardened plaque narrows the coronary arteries and reduces the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart. This can cause chest pain or discomfort called angina (an-JI-nuh or AN-juh-nuh).
If the plaque ruptures, a blood clot can form on its surface. A large blood clot can mostly or completely block blood flow through a coronary artery. This is the most common cause of a heart attack.Over time, ruptured plaque also hardens and narrows the coronary arteries. The major reason behind the blockage of arteries is the accumulation of fatty substances and cholesterol over a period of time. The surgery helps in re-routing blood to the heart muscles, relieving chest pain and improves function of the heart muscles.
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CABG is one treatment for CHD. During CABG, a healthy artery or vein from the body is connected, or grafted, to the blocked coronary artery. The grafted artery or vein bypasses (that is, goes around) the blocked portion of the coronary artery. This creates a new path for oxygen-rich blood to flow to the heart muscle.
Surgeons can bypass multiple coronary arteries during one surgery.
CABG is the most common type of open-heart surgery. However, CABG isn’t the only treatment for CHD. Other treatment options include lifestyle changes, medicines, and a procedure called coronary angioplasty (AN-jee-oh-plas-tee). Angioplasty is a nonsurgical procedure that opens blocked or narrow coronary arteries. During angioplasty, a stent might be placed in a coronary artery to help keep it open. A stent is a small mesh tube that supports the inner artery wall.
CABG or angioplasty may be options if you have severe blockages in your large coronary arteries, especially if your heart’s pumping action has already grown weak. CABG also may be an option if you have blockages in the heart that can’t be treated with angioplasty. In this situation, CABG may work better than other types of treatment.
The goals of CABG may include:
The results of CABG usually are excellent. The surgery improves or completely relieves angina symptoms in most patients. Although symptoms can recur, many people remain symptom-free for as long as 10 to 15 years. CABG also may lower your risk of having a heart attack and help you live longer.
Types of Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting
There are several types of coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). Your doctor will recommend the best option for you based on your needs.
Who Needs Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting?
Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is used to treat people who have severe coronary heart disease (CHD) that could lead to a heart attack. CABG also might be used during or after a heart attack to treat blocked arteries. Your doctor may recommend CABG if other treatments, such as lifestyle changes or medicines, haven’t worked. He or she also may recommend CABG if you have severe blockages in your large coronary (heart) arteries, especially if your heart’s pumping action has already grown weak. CABG also might be a treatment option if you have blockages in your coronary arteries that can’t be treated with angioplasty.
Your doctor will decide whether you’re a candidate for CABG based on factors like presence and severity of CHD symptoms, the severity and location of blockages in your coronary arteries, your response to other treatments, your quality of life, any other medical problems you have.
What To Expect Before Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting
You may have tests to prepare you for coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). For example, you may have blood tests, an EKG (electrocardiogram), echocardiography, a chest x-ray, cardiac catheterization and coronary angiography. Doctor will tell you how to prepare for CABG surgery. Doctor will advise you about what you can eat or drink, which medicines to take, and which activities to stop (such as smoking). You’ll likely be admitted to the hospital on the same day as the surgery. If tests for coronary heart disease show that you have severe blockages in your coronary (heart) arteries, your doctor may admit you to the hospital right away. You may have CABG that day or the day after.
Post Operative Care for Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery
Post the surgical procedure, you’ll spend 1 or 2 days in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Here, your blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen levels is regularly checked throughout the recuperation period. Thereafter, you will be transferred to a traditional hospital room, where you’ll stay for next 4 to 5 days before being discharged. The recuperation may last anywhere between 6 to 12 weeks following the CABG surgery including home care & regular follow-ups with the doctor.
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