Coronary Bypass Surgery
Leesburg-Ocala Heart Institute specializes in coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) for patients with significant narrowing and/or blockage of the coronary arteries (coronary artery disease). When plaque (referred to as “atherosclerosis”) builds up and attaches to the walls of the arteries, it slows the flow of blood as it circulates throughout the body.
Coronary artery disease, or “hardening of the arteries”, is a serious condition that should never be ignored, because when a blood clot (thrombus) forms on top of the build-up, the blockage becomes complete, causing a heart attack.
A coronary bypass procedure usually requires open-chest surgery and the use of a heart-lung bypass machine, but newer, less invasive procedures may also be a choice, depending on the individual’s condition. CABG surgery creates (or “bypasses”) new routes around blocked arteries to allow proper blood flow the heart needs for oxygen and nutrients by sewing grafted vessels (taken from the leg, forearm or chest wall) to the coronary arteries beyond the narrowing or blockage. Triple, quadruple or even quintuple bypasses are now routine procedures.
Recovery may include physical, respiratory, and/or occupational therapy. Rehabilitation includes exercise, weight reduction and diet counseling, as well as controlling blood pressure, diabetes, and blood cholesterol levels.
Bypass surgery does not cure or slow coronary artery disease. Patients can still develop new blockages, especially those most at risk for plaque accumulation: smokers, those with high blood pressure or high cholesterol, diabetics, those with a family history of heart disease, and men over age 45 and women older than 55 years. Slowing the rate of atherosclerosis by reducing risk factors is vital to successful long-term results.