Accessible Search Form           Advanced Search

  • PRINT PAGE  |  PRINT ENTIRE TOPIC  |  SHARE

What Are the Risks of Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting?

As with any type of surgery, coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) has risks. The risks of CABG include:

  • Wound infection and bleeding
  • Reactions to anesthesia
  • Fever
  • Pain
  • Stroke, heart attack, or even death

Some patients have a fever associated with chest pain, irritability, and decreased appetite. This is due to inflammation involving the lung and heart sac.

This complication sometimes occurs after surgeries that involve cutting through the pericardium (the outer covering of the heart). The problem usually is mild, but some patients may develop fluid buildup around the heart that requires treatment.

Memory loss and other issues, such as problems concentrating or thinking clearly, might occur in some people.

These problems are more likely to affect older patients and women. These issues often improve within 6–12 months of surgery.

In general, the risk of complications is higher if CABG is done in an emergency situation (for example, during a heart attack). The risk also is higher if you have other diseases or conditions, such as diabetes, kidney disease, lung disease, or peripheral arterial disease (P.A.D.).

Rate This Content:

  
previous topic next topic
Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans. To find clinical trials that are currently underway for Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting, visit www.clinicaltrials.gov.


Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting in the News

March 12, 2014
Researchers find reason why many vein grafts fail
National Institutes of Health researchers have identified a biological pathway that contributes to the high rate of vein graft failure following bypass surgery. Using mouse models of bypass surgery, they showed that excess signaling via the Transforming Growth Factor Beta (TGF-Beta) family causes the inner walls of the vein become too thick, slowing down or sometimes even blocking the blood flow that the graft was intended to restore.

View all Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting Press Releases


Know the Facts and Act Fast!

Collage image of new heart attack materials

When a heart attack happens, any delays in treatment can be deadly. 

Knowing the warning symptoms of a heart attack and how to take action can save your life or someone else’s.

The NHLBI has created a new series of informative, easy-to-read heart attack materials to help the public better understand the facts about heart attacks and how to act fast to save a life.

Click the links to download or order the NHLBI's new heart attack materials:

“Don’t Take a Chance With a Heart Attack: Know the Facts and Act Fast” (also available in Spanish)

“Heart Attack: Know the Symptoms. Take Action.”

“Learn What a Heart Attack Feels Like—It Could Save Your Life”


 
February 23, 2012 Last Updated Icon

The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.