Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting

(CABG)

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Definition

A coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) is a surgery to restore blood flow to the heart muscle. This is done by using blood vessels from other parts of the body to make a new route for blood to flow around blocked coronary (heart) arteries.
Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery
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Reasons for Procedure

Atherosclerosis is a disease of the arteries. Cholesterol and fatty deposits build up on the walls of the arteries and restricts blood flow. When the buildup happens in the heart, it may lead to chest pain, called angina , or a heart attack . Lifestyle changes and medications can be used to treat atherosclerosis. When the blockage gets too severe, CABG is done to re-establish blood supply to the heart muscle. It is often recommended in cases of:
  • Severe blockage in the main artery or in several blood vessels that supply blood to the heart
  • Persistent angina that does not improve with other treatments

Possible Complications

Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
  • Infections
  • Blood clots
  • High blood pressure or low blood pressure
  • Bleeding
  • Stroke
  • Damage to other organs, such as the kidneys
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Death
Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

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