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Coronary Artery Bypass (CABG) SurgeryWhen angioplasty and other minimally invasive methods of clearing blocked arteries are no longer an option, or if multiple vessels are blocked, a heart care physician may recommend bypass surgery as the best course for treatment.
Coronary artery bypass (CABG) surgery, also referred to as Coronary Revascularization, is a surgical procedure that allows blood to bypass or flow around clogged arteries bringing more blood and oxygen to the heart. It is often called CABG (pronounced like the word "cabbage") which stands for Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting.
How Coronary Artery Bypass (CABG) Surgery Is PerformedA healthy blood vessel (arteries or veins) segment from the leg, chest or arm may be taken as a source for a new blood vessel. The new blood vessel is grafted to the aorta (the large artery at the top of the heart) and to the coronary artery beneath the blocked area. The new vessel bypasses around the clogged coronary arteries. Blood can then flow freely to the heart.
Depending on the type of coronary bypass surgery, the surgeon may connect the heart to a cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB), a heart-lung machine, which assumes the function of the heart and lungs. To keep the heart still, the heart is stopped or "arrested" so the surgeon can perform the precise surgery on the heart without it beating. The heart-lung machine allows blood to continue circulating in the body while the surgery is performed.
Benefits of Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG)Bypass surgery is considered routine and has been proven to be safe and effective. The surgery takes about two and a half to five hours.
Innovative advancements in CABG surgical techniques and equipment have allowed CABG surgery to be performed without a heart-lung machine. Beating heart CABG or off-pump CABG surgery, minimally invasive direct CAB (MIDCAB) surgery and robotic assisted MIDCAB surgery can be performed while the heart continues to beat.