Bypass Surgery- Need, Risk, and Complications

Post by DoctoriDuniya

When your heart does not function properly, you opt for various options. One of the most common treatment method according to your severity of the problem is Bypass surgery. When your heart does not function as it was used to do before because of the one or more of your heart’s vein get partially or fully blocked. It lessens the flow of blood and oxygen into your heart and causes tightening in the chest, irregular breath or chest pain. Bypass surgery is also known as coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). It is the most common type of open-heart surgery that reduces the risk of heart attack and also adds years to your life.

How it is performed?

In this surgery, your blocked vessel of the heart is replaced by blood vessels of other parts of your body such as legs, chest, shoulder etc. It increases the flow of oxygen and blood to your heart again. The removed blood vessel that replaces the blocked or damaged vessel is called graft. The surgery takes 3 to 6 hours to complete. During the surgery, the patient will be unconsciousor asleep.

When do you need bypass surgery?

When plaque or waxy substance builds up in your arteries, it hampers the flow of blood and oxygen to your heart while blocking the blood vessels. You may experience these symptoms-

1. Chest pain

2. Irregular heartbeat

3. Shortness of breath

4. Indigestion

5. Swelling in legs and feet

6. Palpitation

What Are the Risks?

With all surgeries, there is risk associated with it. You may experience –

1. Fever
2. Heart attack
3. Infection and bleeding at the incision
4. Memory loss
5. Pain
6. Reactions to anesthesia
7. Stroke
8. Bleeding
9. Blood clot



What will be the Recovery Time?

Recovery of bypass surgery is a gradual process. It heals slowly means your body needs some time to recover.Usually, it takes 6 to 8 weeks to heal fully. You need to follow your doctor’s instructions. You may require to visit doctors several times.

What are the different types of heart bypass surgery?

Types of surgery depend on the how many arteries are blocked. It includes-

1. single bypass: only one artery is blocked
2. double bypass: two arteries are blocked
3. triple bypass: three arteries are blocked
4. quadruple bypass: four arteries are blocked

Conditions that can cause complications in bypass surgery.

1. Diabetes
2. Lung disease
3. Kidney disease
4. Peripheral arterial disease (PAD)
Are there any alternatives to heart bypass surgery?

Surgery cannot be the solution for everyone as some people may have medical conditions. There are other alternatives also that includes-

1. Angioplasty

2. Enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP)

3. Medications

These are the test you need to undergo before the surgery-

1. Blood Test

2. Chest X-ray

3. Electrocardiogram(ECG or EKG)

4. Angiogram

Consult your doctor if your symptoms don’t improve or you’re feeling worse. Tell your doctor if you have any of the following:

1. Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or  chills
2. Redness, swelling in the incision
3. Bleeding from the incisison
4. Intense pain around any of the incision sites
5. Trouble breathing
6. Rapid or irregular pulse
7. Swelling in the legs
8. Numbness in the arms and legs
9. Persistent nausea or vomiting


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