Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery is open heart surgery, often the preferred treatment for multiple blocked coronary arteries, or when blockages are not suitable for angioplasty or stenting.
CVI surgeons perform more than 450 CABG surgeries per year. Surgeons use endoscopic vein harvest — removal of a portion of vein from inside the leg through small incisions — in more than 98 percent of procedures. These veins are used to route blood flow around your narrowed or blocked coronary arteries. This approach significantly decreases complications and infection.
CABG can improve blood flow to the heart, relieve chest pain and possibly prevent a heart attack. Tight control of blood sugar following surgery results in low rates of infection of the breastbone (sternum).
What to Expect
CABG surgery involves exposing the heart through either the breastbone or ribs. The operation typically includes the use of a heart-lung machine, which takes blood from the heart, adds oxygen, and then pumps it back into the body.
After grafts using your harvested veins are sewn into place in the blocked arteries, the heart-lung machine is turned off. The breastbone is wired together and the chest is closed. You are under general anesthesia during the operation. CABG surgery takes four to five hours.
Off-Pump and Hybrid Approaches
The CVI offers expertise in off-pump beating heart surgery to patients at extremely high risk for conventional bypass because of heavily calcified aortas or advanced renal or pulmonary disease. Off-pump beating heart surgery uses techniques to stabilize the heart so that it is not necessary to use a heart-lung machine. Off-pump beating heart surgery can also be performed as part of a tailored approach (hybrid procedures), in which patients undergo minimally invasive off-pump surgery in conjunction with stenting.