Coronary Artery Disease
The goals of surgery for coronary artery disease are to:
- Improve blood flow to the heart.
- Relieve chest pain or discomfort (angina).
- Improve your chances of living a longer life.
Many people with heart disease can be treated by lifestyle changes and medicine or Reference angioplasty Opens New Window. But sometimes Reference coronary artery bypass graft surgery Opens New Window is needed. It uses healthy blood vessels to create detours around narrowed or blocked arteries. Most of the time, bypass surgery is an open-chest procedure.
To learn more about angioplasty, see Reference Angioplasty and Other Treatment.
Reference Coronary artery bypass graft surgery improves blood flow to the heart. Reference During this surgery Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window, a doctor connects (grafts) a healthy artery or vein from another part of your body to the blocked coronary artery. The grafted artery goes around (bypasses) the blocked part of the artery. The bypass provides a new pathway for blood to your heart.
What to think about
Your treatment will depend in part on:
- How many arteries are blocked.
- How badly the arteries are blocked, and where.
- Other heart problems you may have.
- Your feelings about treatment.
Surgery isn't right for everyone. Making lifestyle changes and taking medicine or having angioplasty can work just as well for some people. And these carry fewer risks than surgery.
No matter what treatment you receive, you'll still need to make changes in the way you eat and how much you exercise. These changes, along with not smoking, will give you the best chance of living a longer, healthier life. A Reference cardiac rehabilitation program can help you make these healthy changes.
- Opens New Window Heart Disease: Should I Have Bypass Surgery? Opens New Window
- Opens New Window Heart Disease: Should I Have Angioplasty for Stable Angina? Opens New Window
If you're thinking about surgery, ask your doctor how many heart surgeries your surgeon and the hospital perform each year. Find out how that number compares with heart surgeries done at other hospitals. People who have bypass surgery at hospitals that do many heart surgeries tend to have better results.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference May 9, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Reference Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology
- Health Tools
- What Increases Your Risk
- When to Call a Doctor
- Exams and Tests
- Treatment Overview
- What Happens
- Living With Heart Disease
- Angioplasty and Other Treatment
- End-of-Life Decisions
- Other Places To Get Help
- Related Information