Are you aware of Heart Bypass Surgery?

Medpho Team July 29, 2023

Heart bypass surgery is an open-heart procedure to restore oxygen-rich blood flow to the heart. This type of heart surgery is performed when one or more blood vessels, which carry blood to the heart muscles, become partially blocked. Doctors make another route for oxygen and blood to reach the heart during this process.

If you have been suggested a bypass surgery, here is all you need to know. 

Blockages in Coronary Arteries

On consuming high cholesterol-based food items, the blood starts making plaque build up on the arterial walls, making less blood flow to the heart muscle. This type of coronary artery disease is known as atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis can impact the arteries in the body, and your cardiologist may advise heart bypass surgery. As per the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, the most common heart bypass surgery that is performed includes Coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG).

There are different reasons why a cardiologist may suggest a cardiac procedure.

Who needs a Cardiac Bypass Surgery?

A doctor might suggest cardiac Bypass Surgery in situations:

  • When you have severe chest pain and doctors find that several arteries that supply blood to your heart are blocked.
  • When the left coronary arteries that supply blood to the left ventricles cannot pump the blood with the same efficacy, they should.
  • There's a bottleneck or partial blockage in the left main coronary artery, which delivers most of its blood to the left ventricle.
  • You've undergone other procedures, but still, they haven't worked, or the artery is blocked again.
  • You have new blockages.

In all these conditions, your doctor can suggest bypass surgery.

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Types of Heart Bypass Surgery

Types Of Heart Bypass Surgery 

There are different types of bypass surgeries, such as:

  • a single bypass when one artery is blocked.
  • Double bypass when two arteries are blocked.
  • Triple bypass occurs when three arteries are blocked.
  • Quadruple bypass occurs when four arteries are blocked.

What do you need to do before Bypass Surgery?

Before a surgery;

  1. The doctor advises you to get blood tests, chest X-rays, and an electrocardiogram (EKG). 
  2. You may also need to do an X-ray procedure called a coronary angiogram to see how the blood moves through your arteries.
  3. The doctor will also tell you to make necessary changes to your diet or lifestyle before the surgery. Moreover, he can ask you to change or stop the medication.
  4. Many doctors also suggest vitamins and supplements intake though they are naturally available to avoid bleeding risk altogether.
  5. You'll also need to make plans for recovery after your surgery.

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How is heart bypass surgery performe

How Is Heart Bypass Surgery Performed?

The surgery is performed once you get into the hospital gown and receive medicine, fluids, and anesthesia through an IV. When the anesthesia starts showing its effect, the patient falls asleep and goes into a deep sleep. 

The first step starts when the surgeon begins the operation by making a big incision on the chest. Next, the rib cage is spread apart from the heart. The surgeon may also opt for minimally invasive surgery, which implicates more minor cuts and special miniaturized tools and automated processes.

The rest procedure includes:

(a) About The Cardiopulmonary Bypass Machine

A cardiopulmonary bypass machine that is generally understood as a heart-lung bypass machine is attached. The machine adds oxygen to the blood and takes over the heart's pumping action, replacing the function of the lungs. It is a machine that provides blood (and oxygen) to the body when the heart is stopped for a surgical operation.

(b) Grafting

The grafting procedure involves removing a healthy blood vessel from the leg to bypass your artery's clogged or damaged part. One end of the graft is attached above the blockage and the other end below.

(c) The Final Steps

Once the operation procedure is completed, the surgeon checks the bypass functioning. Once the bypass is checked and is functioning well, the incision will be stitched up, bandaged, and the patient is taken to the intensive care unit (ICU). 

The success ratio of Heart Bypass Surgery 

Heart bypass surgeries are severe surgeries but have become safe with advancements in medical technology. Today, surgeons perform hundreds and thousands of heart bypass operations every year. Bypass surgeries are a life saviour if there are multiple blockages that could cause complications like a heart attack. The mortality rate reported is pretty low.

Life After Bypass Surgery 

Recovering from bypass heart surgery takes time, and everyone recovers at a different pace. The person, in general, should be able to sit in a chair after one day, walk after three days, and walk up and down stairs after 5 or 6 days. After waking up once the operation gets over, a person will have a tube down their throat that helps them breathe. It might cause a little discomfort, but it is a crucial part of the procedure. Usually, a doctor will extract the tube after 24 hours. 

The life after bypass surgery, the person will remain in the hospital for about a week. It is usual to experience soreness and night exertions. There is likely to be some liquid in the lungs, so people should expect a good bit of coughing. People generally start to eat and move about soon after the doctor has repositioned the breathing tube.


Heart Bypass surgery helps to reduce heart ailments and improve the quality of life, and ultimately your chances of survival. You should try to maintain a healthy weight, do regular exercise, and try avoiding unwanted stress that may lead to heart complications.  

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