If you have been diagnosed with severe coronary artery disease, you may need heart bypass surgery — also called coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery — to restore proper blood flow to your heart. During this type of procedure, a new pathway is created to bypass a blocked portion of your coronary artery.
Heart bypass surgery may be necessary if:
- A previous heart catheterization procedure did not achieve intended results
- Immediate, aggressive intervention is needed to save heart muscle after a massive heart attack
- There are blockages in several coronary arteries
Find a Doctor at Dignity Health Central California to create a personalized plan to prevent coronary artery disease and protect your heart health. Our experts can help determine if a heart bypass surgery in Central California is right for you.
Types of Heart Bypass Surgery at Dignity Health Central California
The most common types of bypass surgery include:
- Traditional on-pump surgery — your heart is stopped and a heart-lung machine artificially circulates your blood. This allows your surgeon to work on your heart while it is not beating.
- Beating-heart (off-pump) surgery — another type of open heart bypass surgery, in this procedure your heart continues to beat on its own. Medication is used to slow your heartbeat, while the surgeon completes repairs. This surgery may be recommended if you are at a high risk for stroke.
- Robot-assisted heart bypass surgery — a minimally invasive procedure where the surgeon makes precise repairs to your heart with the help of a computer-controlled surgical machine, while observing the surgical area on a monitor. The procedure is performed through several small incision around your chest.
The type of heart bypass surgery your Dignity Health Central California doctor recommends depends on the severity of your condition and your overall health.
Heart Bypass Surgery Risks
Considered a major procedure, heart bypass operations require several days of post-surgical observation and recovery in the hospital. These procedures have the following associated risks:
- Heart rhythm problems after surgery
- Memory problems
- Kidney or liver complications
- Chest pain and low-grade fever for six months after the procedure
- Heart attack or death
Typically, minimally invasive procedures have fewer complications and shorter recovery periods compared with open heart surgery.
What to Expect During Recovery
After surgery, you will spend at least 24 hours in a specialized intensive care unit. You may still be connected to a ventilator to help you breathe. When you are able to breathe on your own, you will be moved to a cardiac care unit.
Most people spend five to seven days in the hospital after surgery. When you are ready to return home, your care team will provide you with detailed instructions for post-surgical diet, exercise, and activity levels.
Do you know if you are at risk for developing heart disease? Take our free heart risk assessment and discuss your results with one of our experts.
Dignity Health Central California delivers advanced cardiovascular treatments in Bakersfield, Merced, San Andreas, and Stockton, CA.