What is Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery (CABG)
Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is a type of surgery that improves blood flow to the heart. Surgeons use CABG to treat people who have severe coronary heart disease (CHD). CHD is a disease in which a waxy substance called plaque (plak) builds up inside the coronary arteries. These arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to your heart. Over time, plaque can harden or rupture (break open). Hardened plaque narrows the coronary arteries and reduces the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart. This can cause chest pain or discomfort called angina (an-JI-nuh or AN-juh-nuh).
If the plaque ruptures, a blood clot can form on its surface. A large blood clot can mostly or completely block blood flow through a coronary artery. This is the most common cause of a heart attack. Over time, ruptured plaque also hardens and narrows the coronary arteries.
CABG is one treatment for CHD. During CABG, a healthy artery or vein from the body is connected, or grafted, to the blocked coronary artery. The grafted artery or vein bypasses (that is, goes around) the blocked portion of the coronary artery. This creates a new path for oxygen-rich blood to flow to the heart muscle.
Surgeons can bypass multiple coronary arteries during one surgery.
When is it done:
CABG also may be an option if you have blockages in the heart that can’t be treated with PCI. In this situation, CABG may work better than other types of treatment.
Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is used to treat people who have severe coronary heart disease (CHD) that could lead to a heart attack.
Your doctor may recommend CABG if other treatments, such as lifestyle changes or medicines, haven’t worked. He or she also may recommend CABG if you have severe blockages in your large coronary (heart) arteries, especially if your heart’s pumping action has already grown weak.