Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery, also called Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) is recommended in case of multiple blockages.
Before the Procedure
If your Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery is not in emergency conditions then your doctor will first admit you to the hospital and then perform the surgery under the influence of anaesthesia. The whole procedure generally takes somewhere between three to six hours.
For general anaesthesia, the surgeon inserts a breathing tube through the mouth. It is then attached to a ventilator, which aids the patient in breathing, during and immediately after the surgery.
During the Procedure
- STEP 1: The surgeon removes the healthy blood vessel from the patient’s leg, arm, or chest for grafting, which is used to create a bypass over the blocked artery. This helps in retaining normal blood flow to the heart.
- STEP 2: The team of surgeons now performs a minimally invasive surgery by making small incisions in the chest (often with the use of robotics and video imaging), through the sternum (breast bone). This gives a detailed view of coronary arteries. Due to the incision, the heart stops temporarily, and a heart-lung machine is used to circulate blood throughout the body.
- STEP 3: The surgeon now takes a section of the healthy blood vessel and attaches it to the ends (above and below) of the blocked artery. This redirects the blood flow around the narrowed part of the diseased artery.
- STEP 4: After the completion of the graft, the surgeon will restore the heartbeat of the patient thereby disconnecting the heart-lung machine. The incision in the chest is also covered and closed.
After the Procedure
A patient has to spend a day or two in the intensive care unit for monitoring purpose. However, the overall recovery time is around 12 weeks. After surgery, most people remain symptom-free and feel better. However, they have to take certain precautions for a lifetime to improve their quality of life.