Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) is a procedure that helps in treating coronary artery disease – a heart disorder caused due to narrowing down of coronary arteries, the main blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscle. This disorder is usually caused due to build-up of fatty material within the walls of the arteries that limit the supply of oxygen rich blood to the heart muscle.
Traditionally, to bypass the blocked arteries, heart surgeons made huge incisions on the chest to insert tubes into the heart, so that blood could be pumped through the body by the heart lung bypass machine. However, with a significant development in health technology, less invasive techniques have developed to bypass blocked coronary arteries.
What happens during CABG procedure?
During the procedure blood is redirected around a section of blocked or partially blocked artery in the heart. The heart surgeon will pick a healthy blood vessel from the patient’s leg, arm or chest and connect it below and above the blocked arteries in the heart. With this new pathway, blood flow to the heart muscle improves. It is also important to understand that coronary bypass surgery does not treat the heart disease that caused the blockage but can ease the symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath. However, for some people this procedure can improve the heart function while reducing the risk of dying from the heart disease.
What happens after the procedure?
– Relieves chest pain
– Improved blood and oxygen supply to the heart
– Reduced risk of heart attack
– Improved ability for physical activity
Cardiac rehabilitation usually begins while the patient is still in the hospital. An exercise and education plan are designed for the patients to help them recover. However, if patients notice any signs of fever, rapid heart rate or pain around the chest wound, they will need to immediately contact the doctor or hospital.
Most patients start feeling better post-surgery and might remain symptom free for as long as 10-15 years. However, there is a possibility that some other arteries or even the new graft used during the procedure might get clogged and require another bypass or angioplasty. Therefore, it is suggested to consult the best cardiologist in India, who has good experience in performing these surgeries. At the same time, it is also important to take your medicines, manage your blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes.