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What is a Heart Bypass Surgery?

Coronary bypass surgery or heart bypass surgery is a procedure used for replacing damaged arteries within out heart muscles. Surgeons use blood vessels which are taken from other parts of our body for repairing damaged arteries. The surgery is performed when the coronary arteries get damaged or blocked. These arteries supply oxygenated blood to our heart. If the flow of blood is restricted or the arteries get blocked, the heart does not function properly and this can cause a heart failure.

types of heart bypass surgeries

Different types of heart bypass surgeries:

Depending upon which of the arteries are blocked, surgeons recommend certain types of bypass surgeries.

  • Single Bypass- Only 1 artery gets blocked
  • Double bypass- 2 arteries get blocked
  • Triple bypass- 3 arteries get blocked
  • Quadruple bypass- 4 arteries get blocked

Our risk of getting a heart failure, heart attack or other cardiac problems depends on the number of blocked arteries. Blockages in multiple arteries also suggest that a surgery can take longer or even get more complex.

Causes of a Cardiac Bypass Surgery:

  • When does someone need a bypass surgery?
  • When a material in our blood called plaque builds up on the arterial walls, there is less flow of blood to heart muscles. The muscle will most likely get exhausted & fail if it isn’t getting adequate blood.
  • Any damage this brings mostly affects left ventricle which is the primary pump of our heart.
  • Our doctor can recommend bypass surgery of heart when our coronary artery narrows down or gets blocked so much that we get a high risk of heart attack. Such condition is known as atherosclerosis or coronary artery disease.
  • A doctor would recommend bypass surgery if the blockage is highly critical to be managed with medications and other treatments.

What determines the requirement for a heart bypass surgery?

Doctors and cardiologists identify if the patient can undergo an open-heart surgery. Few medical conditions may complicate a surgery or even eliminate its possibility.

Conditions which may cause complications could be diabetes, emphysema, kidney disease, PAD or peripheral arterial disease. One should discuss the aforementioned problems with their doctors prior to scheduling their surgery. They should also discuss family medical history, prescriptions and OTC or over-the-counter medications that they take. The outcomes of planned surgeries are better than the emergency ones.

 

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