Coronary artery disease, sometimes referred to as coronary heart disease, is the most common form of heart disease and it is the number one cause of death among both men and women in the United States.
Coronary artery disease develops when your coronary arteries – which are the major blood vessels that supply your heart with blood, oxygen, and nutrients – become damaged or diseased.
Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is the most commonly performed heart operation in the United States. This procedure can improve the quality of life for patients with advanced coronary heart disease. The CABG procedure uses the patient’s own arteries or veins to bypass a blocked or narrowed artery, allowing oxygenated blood to reach the heart muscle and helping to prevent a heart attack.
In the CABG procedure, GCCSI surgeons use a graft from the saphenous vein in the leg, radial artery in the arm or internal thoracic artery in the chest wall. Taking a vein from one of these locations typically won’t affect blood flow to the body part. The GCCSI surgeon uses endoscopic vein harvesting when possible to decrease the size of the graft site incision. It is often a two surgeon operation. While one surgeon is working to gain the graft, the other surgeon is working to prepare the coronary artery for the graft. The graft is attached and blood begins to flow through the new pathway to the heart.
Completing the CABG procedure off cardiopulmonary bypass (off pump) decreases the patient’s risk of postoperative complications.
Click the links below for more information about the procedure and post-op instructions.
Procedure – CABG Procedure (PDF)
Post-op – CABG Post-op Instructions (PDF)