Coronary Bypass Surgery

Definition - What does Coronary Bypass Surgery mean?

Coronary bypass is a surgery that is designed to redirect the flow of blood to your heart. This surgery is performed in cases where an artery in the heart is obstructed. During coronary bypass surgery, a section of blood vessel is removed from another part of the patient's body. This section is then used to connect the healthy portions of the artery in the heart, bypassing the blocked segment.

To perform a traditional coronary bypass surgery, the patient's sternum is split, exposing the heart. During the surgery, the person's heart is stopped and blood is circulated through his or her body using a heart-lung, or bypass, machine. Recovery from coronary bypass surgery can be lengthy and may involve participation in a cardiac rehabilitation program. A less invasive procedure called a minimally invasive bypass may sometimes be available. In this procedure, small incisions are made through which the surgery is performed.

Coronary bypass surgery may also be called heart bypass surgery or coronary artery bypass surgery.

WorkplaceTesting explains Coronary Bypass Surgery

Coronary bypass surgery is often needed to alleviate the symptoms of atherosclerosis or coronary artery disease (CAD). CAD causes the arteries of the heart to become hardened and partially or fully obstructed. Left untreated, CAD can cause permanent damage to the heart muscles as they are deprived of oxygen due to reduced blood flow. The bypass surgery allows blood flow to be restored to the heart muscles. If performed before permanent damage to the muscle has occurred, patients may experience relief from the chest pains and other symptoms caused by the CAD blockage.

Coronary bypass surgery is a method to provide relief for the symptoms of an underlying arterial or coronary disease, but does not treat the disease itself. Thus, an individual should continue treatment for any underlying condition following coronary bypass surgery. In some instances, additional bypass surgeries may be required as new blockages develop over time.

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