CABG - Heart Care/Surgery

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Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery

Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery Treatment Abroad


CABG stands for coronary artery bypass graft surgery, and is pronounced "cabbage." This procedure is designed to increase and improve the flow of blood to the heart muscle. The coronary arteries carry nutrients and oxygen to the heart, and if those vessels are narrowed, blocked or somehow damaged, the heart muscle itself won't receive adequate oxygenation, which affects its function and ability to pump blood to all parts of the body.

Who Benefits From CABG Surgery?

CABG surgery is often recommended to individuals who have been diagnosed with severe coronary heart disease, also known as CHD. Coronary heart disease causes plaque to build up inside arteries that serve the heart, which narrow blood vessels and prevent adequate blood flow from reaching or leaving the heart.

CABG Surgery Procedure

The coronary artery bypass graft is a surgical procedure has been done for decades and is one of the most common types of open heart surgery performed in the United States.  The graft procedure is basically designed to take a portion of healthy artery from another point in the body in order to graft it into place over the damaged coronary heart artery to serve as a bridge, thereby restoring adequate blood flow and function to the heart. The artery graft is stitched onto healthy ends of the coronary artery on either side of the blockage.

An individual can undergo one bypass or up to four, as there are four major coronary arteries found on the heart muscle. The surgical procedure may last up to 5 hours, depending on how many arteries are grafted. The patient is placed under general anesthesia and will be asleep during the procedure.
The surgeon makes an incision (about 8 inches long) in the center of the chest. The sternum, or breastbone, is split and the rib cage opened so that  the thoracic surgeon can access the heart. Drugs will be utilized to stop the heartbeat. During this time, the patient is placed on a heart-lung bypass machine that continues to pump blood through the body during the grafting procedure.

A small portion of artery is taken from the groin area or the chest to replace the damaged portion of artery on the heart muscle. Repairs are made to the donor site and the new portion of coronary artery stitched into place. In most cases, the heart will beat again on its own once blood flow is restored. The surgeon will then repair the sternum and ribs with wires and suture or staple the incision closed.

Several types of CABG surgical procedures are performed, depending on specific needs and the doctor's recommendation. These include:

  • Port-access coronary artery bypass procedure - a newer method that utilizes very small incisions called ports made in the chest cavity.
  • Off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting - in this procedure, the heart is not stopped during the surgical procedure. Instead, a surgical device helps steady the heart muscle during the grafting process.
  • Minimally invasive direct coronary artery bypass grafting - known as MIDCAB, this procedure is used when 1 to 2 coronary arteries are grafted. Moderately sized incisions (about 3 inches long) are made into the left side of the chest cavity for access. Heart-lung bypass machines are not used during this procedure.
  • Robot assisted - keyhole incisions through which video cameras are inserted enable cardiothoracic surgeons to perform remote controlled surgical procedures in this latest advance in cardiac surgery technology. Heart-lung bypass machines may or may not be used during this procedure.

Who Performs CABG Surgical Procedures?

Coronary artery bypass graft surgical procedures are performed by to cardiothoracic surgeon.  A cardiothoracic surgeon is specially trained in treatments, procedures and surgeries of the heart muscle and blood vessels leading two, away from, or on are within the heart muscle itself. Cardiac surgeons specialize in cardiovascular methods and treatment procedures after roughly five years of general surgery residency, followed by two to three years of cardiothoracic surgery residency.

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By: PlacidWay,

Heart Surgery Abroad, Cardiac Care Abroad

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