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Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting

Definition

Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting or CABG is one of the most commonly performed surgical operations in the world. CABG aims to supply the starved heart muscle with more blood by passing the blockages. The blood vessels from the patient's own body, which he can spare, are used to perform the bypass. Once the grafts are joined, blood flows through them into the blocked arteries beyond the blocks thus bypassing them. The blocks are not removed but are bypassed, which is why it’s called bypass surgery.

What is coronary artery disease? How does it affect the heart?

The heart is a muscular pump which supplies blood to the entire body via the arteries.The heart itself needs blood, which is supplied via coronary arteries. Coronary Artery disease happens when fatty substances get deposited on the wall of the arteries leading to their narrowing. It further blocks the arteries, leading the decreased blood supply in the heart. This causes chest pain called Angina. A heart attack may occur in more severe cases, which damages the heart, permanently decreasing its efficiency.

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Conventional CABG

Coronary artery bypass grafting is the surgical procedure in which the grafts are connected up to the blocked arteries. Conventional CABG is when cardiopulmonary bypass with the heart-lung machine is used to perform the operation. The heart-lung machine performs the job of the heart and thus allows the heart's beating to be stopped, so the surgeon can operate on a surface, which is blood-free and still.

Beating Heart Bypass Surgery (Off-pump Surgery)

Off-pump or beating heart bypass surgery allows surgeons to perform surgery on the heart while it is still beating. During this surgery, instead of a pump, the surgeon uses advanced operating equipment to stabilize portions of the heart and bypasses the blocked artery. Meanwhile, the rest of the heart keeps pumping and circulating blood to the body.

Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery

Minimally invasive Cardiac Surgery is performed through a small incision. The benefits of minimally invasive surgery include:

  • A smaller incision and scar
  • Reduced risk of infection
  • Less bleeding
  • Less pain and trauma
  • Decreased recovery time