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Bypass Surgery

What is Bypass Surgery?

By today’s standards, coronary artery bypass surgery is a common procedure to treat coronary artery disease.

While there are many reasons physicians recommend bypass surgery, the goal of the surgery is always the same: to improve the supply of blood and oxygen to heart muscle and thereby stabilize and/or improve the heart’s function.

The three goals of this type of surgery are:

  • to reduce or eliminate chest pain (angina)     
  • to decrease your chance of a future heart attacks     
  • to improve your quality of life, while lengthening your lifespan.

How Bypass Surgery Works

Coronary artery bypass surgery utilizes a healthy blood vessel removed from your leg, arm or chest wall. These grafts are then implanted on to the heart’s surface to allow blood flow to bypass the narrowed or blocked arteries. Although both veins and arteries can be used, our surgeons use arteries when possible because studies have shown that they remain open longer than veins.

Each bypass vessel improves blood flow to a different section of heart muscle. Therefore, the number of bypasses that you will require depends on the number of narrowed arteries and how much heart muscle is affected.