The content on this website is intended to provide you with a better understanding
of coronary artery disease, beating heart bypass surgery and endoscopic vessel harvesting.
The procedures described in this website and related links may not be appropriate
for all patients. The information on this website and maintain an open dialogue with
you and your an informed discussion with a physician, and is not an endorsement or
recommendation of any particular physician.
Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery
Coronary artery bypass surgery is done to provide "detours" around the partially
or completely blocked arteries. With a new open "bypass system" the heart can now
receive its much needed blood supply.
Coronary artery bypass surgery is performed to provide relief of angina, to improve
the pumping ability of the heart muscle, to prevent heart attacks, and to reduce
the use of heart medications, all of which should improve a patient's quality of
life. The indications for surgery vary, depending on each patient's symptoms and
findings at the time of heart catheterization. Your surgeon and cardiologist will
discuss the reasons for recommending surgery to you.
The concept of coronary artery bypass surgery is very simple. Healthy arteries or
veins are "harvested" to create “bypass grafts” that channel the needed blood flow
around the blocked portions of the coronary arteries. The new section of artery can
come from the mammary artery in your chest, the radial artery in your forearm, or
the saphenous vein in your leg. To learn more about vessel harvesting click here.
The saphenous vein is commonly used for grafts. These veins are used by the surgeon
as an alternate vessel to deliver blood to the heart muscle below the point of the
blockage. The surgery reroutes the blood flow to supply areas of the heart muscle
not receiving enough blood (See Figure 1).
What is Traditional Bypass Surgery?
Coronary artery bypass surgery became routine in the late 1950s with the invention
of the heart-lung machine. With "traditional" bypass surgery, surgeons use the assistance
of the heart-lung machine along with medications to stop the heart so the bypass
can be performed on a motionless field. The heart-lung machine is referred to as
a "pump" because it continues to mechanically pump oxygen and nutrients to the body
Beating Heart Bypass Surgery
Recent advances in surgery and medical devices allow doctors to have less invasive
options in the treatment of coronary artery disease (CAD), such as Beating Heart
or "Off-Pump" Bypass Surgery.