In Which Circumstances is Coronary Bypass Surgery Performed?

Coronary bypass surgery directs blood to a section of a blocked or partially blocked artery in your heart to improve blood flow to your heart muscle. The procedure involves taking a healthy blood vessel from your leg, arm, or chest and connecting it across blocked arteries in your heart. Although coronary bypass surgery does not cure heart disease that causes blockages (atherosclerosis or coronary artery disease), it can relieve symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath. For some people, this procedure can improve heart function and reduce the risk of dying from heart disease.

In Which Situations Is Coronary Bypass Surgery Performed?

If you have a blocked artery in your heart, coronary bypass surgery is an option. Apart from this, your doctor may tell you that you need coronary bypass surgery in the following cases.

  • If you have severe chest pain due to narrowing of several arteries that feed your heart muscle, leaving the muscle short of blood during light exercise or at rest.
  • You have more than one diseased coronary artery and the heart's main pumping chamber (left ventricle) is not working well
  • If the left main coronary artery is severely narrowed or blocked (This artery supplies most of the blood to the left ventricle)
  • You have an artery blockage temporarily inserting and inflating a small balloon to inappropriately widen the artery (angioplasty) and have previously had angioplasty or insertion of a small wire mesh tube (stent) to keep the artery open without success, or you have had a stent placement but the artery if it has narrowed again (restenosis)
  • If you do not respond to other treatments, coronary bypass surgery may also be performed in emergency situations such as a heart attack.

After coronary bypass surgery, you need to make lifestyle changes after surgery. Medications are routinely prescribed after coronary bypass surgery to lower your blood cholesterol, reduce the risk of developing blood clots, and help your heart work as well as possible.