Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery
Bypass surgery has been done for more than 40 years. In the United States, it is one of the most common major surgeries. But it has some serious risks.
The risks of bypass surgery include:
- Death. Out of 100 people who have bypass surgery, 1 to 4 of them will have a serious complication that leads to death, and 96 to 99 of them will not.Reference 2
- Heart attack. Out of 100 people who have bypass surgery, about 1 will have a heart attack soon after the surgery, and 99 will not.Reference 3
- Stroke. Out of 100 people who have the surgery, 1 to 3 will have a stroke, and 97 to 99 of them will not.Reference 4, Reference 5
- Too much bleeding. This can lead to the need for a transfusion. This happens in 3 to 5 out of 100 people who have the surgery. This means that 95 to 97 out of 100 people don't have bleeding problems.Reference 4
Other risks include return of angina, problems from anesthesia, and infections at the site of the chest incision. Some people also have memory loss and trouble thinking clearly. These problems are most common in older people and tend to improve several months after surgery.
The chances of having a serious problem with bypass surgery are higher if you are older than 70. Your risk is also higher if you have other problems such as diabetes, kidney disease, lung disease, or Reference peripheral arterial disease Opens New Window. Talk with your doctor to find out how your health affects your risk.