Heart bypass surgery: your comprehensive guide

How is a heart bypass operation carried out? Why was this procedure used in the first place? More information on this topic in this article.

Heart bypass surgery: your comprehensive guide

By taking an artery from another part of the body and replacing it with the damaged coronary artery that is supposed to nourish the heart muscle, heart bypass surgery, also known as coronary artery bypass graft, is a procedure used to improve blood flow and access to the heart muscle.

We'll go into more detail about heart bypass surgery in this article:

How is heart bypass surgery performed?

Five coronary arteries supply blood to the heart, and if any, all, or even some of them are blocked, blood cannot reach the heart muscle, which may result in a heart attack or even death.

During a heart bypass surgery, blood vessels from the leg, arm, or chest are used to replace the blocked arteries.

Doctors connect the end of the blood vessel taken to the aorta, which is the largest artery in the body that emerges from the heart, and connect the other end to the blocked coronary artery below the point at which the blockage occurred. Thus, blood now travels to the heart via this new pathway.

  • All coronary arteries have been replaced.

During a single heart bypass, surgeons can treat multiple arteries. A double bypass is an operation that involves two repairs. When three repairs are made, it is called a triple bypass. Four repairs are included in a quadruple bypass.

The most difficult arterial switch operation is referred to as a quintuple bypass if all five arteries are blocked.

  • How much time is needed for heart bypass surgery?

Depending on how many arteries need to be replaced, the procedure can last anywhere between three and six hours. During this time, the patient is under anaesthesia and asleep. Once the procedure is over, he is moved to the intensive care unit, where he remains for several days while his condition is monitored.

Reasons for resorting to heart bypass surgery

Heart bypass surgery is one of the options for treating blockages in the coronary arteries, and it is not the only solution. It is used in the following situations:

  • If the patient experiences severe chest pain that is sudden and severe and is brought on by a blockage or narrowing of several coronary arteries, which causes ischemia of the muscle even when the patient is at rest.
  • Multiple diseased coronary arteries are present, and the left ventricle, the heart's main pumping chamber, is not functioning properly.
  • Since the left coronary artery supplies the majority of the blood to the left ventricle, it is either completely blocked or severely constricted.
  • a blockage in an artery that cannot be widened with angioplasty, a procedure that involves inserting a small balloon into the artery.
  • having had angioplasty or stent installation in the past, and either the procedure was unsuccessful or it was successful but the artery narrowed again.
  • an emergency situation that did not improve after trying other treatments, like a heart attack.

Possible risks during heart bypass surgery

Heart bypass surgery carries a number of risks, some of which may be minor and manageable and others of which may be very serious.

  1. Bleeding during or after the operation.
  2. Blood clots that may cause a heart attack, stroke, or lung problems.
  3. An infection at the site where the incision was made.
  4. Pneumonia .
  5. breathing problems
  6. Inflammation of the pancreas.
  7. Kidney failure .
  8. Irregular heartbeat.
  9. the death. 

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