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What is bypass surgery?
Sometimes referred to as CABG (sounded as cabbage), coronary bypass surgery is an operation in which other blood vessels are used to go around, or bypass, clogged coronary arteries. Blood can then flow freely to the heart through the new arteries. Bypass surgery is performed to treat blockages in one or more arteries and restore blood flow to the heart. A successful bypass will relieve symptoms of chest pain, arm pain, or other warning signs that the heart muscle is not getting enough blood.
To have a complete understanding of bypass surgery, it is helpful to know as much as possible about how your heart functions. Click here for more details.
What will happen to me during bypass surgery?
Bypass surgery takes between 2 ½ to 5 hours. It is performed by a cardiothoracic surgeon, who connects you to a coronary bypass machine (heart/lung machine) which assumes the function of your heart and lungs until the surgery is complete. The surgeon takes a blood vessel from your leg and attaches one end to the aorta (the large artery that comes out of the heart) and the other end to the coronary artery below the point where it is blocked this is called the bypass. A blood vessel from within the chest may also be used. Blood now flows freely through the new bypass graft to the heart.