Heart Disease Treatment: Bypass Surgery
Some patient's coronary arteries are not good candidates for angioplasty and/or stents. Such patients may benefit from another treatment technique termed bypass surgery. Bypass surgery occurs when a surgeon removes a blood vessel from one part of the body (chest, legs, or arms) and uses it to connect one open part of a coronary artery to another open part, thus bypassing the area that has blocked blood flow. Often the surgeon may need to bypass more than one artery.
The decision to try and stent a coronary artery versus doing bypass surgery is usually recommended to the patient by their cardiologist and a heart surgeon. Bypass surgery is usually done if coronary arteries are narrowed or blocked in multiple places.
The procedure is known as coronary artery bypass graft (CABG). The doctor will take blood vessel from another part of the body and graft them onto the heart to bypass one, two, three, or more blocked coronary arteries. The procedure requires a stay in the hospital afterwards to recover.