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What is Bypass surgery & when is it performed ?

What is heart bypass surgery?

Bypass surgery, or coronary artery bypass surgery, is used to replace damaged arteries in your heart muscle. A surgeon uses blood vessels taken from another area of your body to repair the damaged arteries. It is a surgical procedure that diverts the flow of blood around a section of a blocked or partially blocked artery in your heart. By creating a new pathway to the heart, coronary bypass surgery improves blood flow to your heart muscle.

After coronary bypass surgery, symptoms, such as chest pain and shortness of breath due to poor blood flow to the heart, generally improve. For some people, coronary bypass surgery may improve heart function and reduce the risk of dying of heart disease.

Most coronary bypass surgeries are done through a long incision in the chest while blood flow is diverted through a heart-lung machine (called on-pump coronary bypass surgery). The surgeon cuts down the center of the chest, along the breastbone. The surgeon then spreads open the rib cage to expose the heart. After the chest is opened, the heart is temporarily stopped and a heart-lung machine takes over to circulate blood to the body.

The surgeon takes a section of healthy blood vessel, often from inside the chest wall (the internal mammary artery) or from the lower leg, and attaches the ends above and below the blocked artery so that blood flow is diverted (bypassed) around the narrowed portion of the diseased artery.

What are the different types of heart bypass surgery?

  • single bypass: only one artery is blocked
  • double bypass: two arteries are blocked
  • triple bypass: three arteries are blocked
  • quadruple bypass: four arteries are blocked

When Coronary bypass surgery is done ?

When patient has severe chest pain caused by narrowing of several of the arteries that supply your heart muscle, leaving the muscle short of blood during even light exercise or at rest. Sometimes angioplasty and stenting will help, when more than one diseased coronary artery and the heart’s main pumping chamber — the left ventricle — isn’t functioning well then bypass surgery may be the best option. Your doctor may recommend heart bypass surgery if your coronary arteries become so narrowed or blocked that you run a high risk of a heart attack.

You and your doctor can consider whether coronary bypass surgery or another artery-opening procedure, such as angioplasty or stenting, is right for you.

Coronary bypass surgery is an option if:

  • Patients have severe chest pain caused by narrowing of several of the arteries that supply your heart muscle, leaving the muscle short of blood during even light exercise or at rest. Sometimes angioplasty and stenting will help, but for some types of blockages, coronary bypass surgery may be the best option.
  • Patients have more than one diseased coronary artery and the heart’s main pumping chamber — the left ventricle — isn’t functioning well.
  • Patient’s left main coronary artery is severely narrowed or blocked. This artery supplies most of the blood to the left ventricle.
  • Patients have an artery blockage for which angioplasty isn’t appropriate, you’ve had a previous angioplasty or stent placement that hasn’t been successful, or you’ve had stent placement, but the artery has narrowed again (restenosis).

Coronary bypass surgery may also be performed in emergency situations, such as a heart attack, if your doctor sees that you’re not responding to other treatments.

Some time, patient may not have any symptoms in early coronary artery disease, yet the disease will continue to progress until there’s enough artery blockage to cause symptoms and problems. If the blood supply to your heart muscle continues to decrease as a result of increasing blockage of a coronary artery, you may have a heart attack. In this condition, bypass surgery is done to restore blood flow

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