Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting
Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting

Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting Who Needs It?

CABG is used to treat obstructive coronary heart disease, a type of heart disease that occurs when plaque builds up in the coronary arteries that supply the heart with oxygen-rich blood.

Your heart care team will work with you to decide if CABG is right for you. Your team may include your heart doctor, called a cardiologist, and a cardiothoracic surgeon, who specializes in heart, lung, and chest surgeries.

Surgery is not always the best option for everyone. Depending on your overall health and other conditions, your care team may recommend an alternative procedure called percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), which may include placing a stent in the artery. This procedure is also known as coronary angioplasty .

You may benefit from CABG if you have:

  • Coronary heart disease with angina (chest pain) that has not gone away with medicine, or a history of cardiac arrest related to an irregular heartbeat
  • Diabetes
  • Heart attack due to coronary artery disease that cannot be treated properly with PCI
  • Multiple blocked coronary arteries or large amounts of plaque in the left main coronary artery that would be difficult to treat with PCI
  • Serious heart failure that affects your heart’s ability to pump blood
Image of coronary artery disease before and after heart bypass surgery.
Image of coronary artery disease before and after heart bypass surgery. The gray region in the heart on the left shows decreased blood flow due to coronary artery disease. The image on the right shows two grafts after a CABG procedure. One graft, shown in blue, is a vein that was taken from the leg, and the other, shown in red, is an artery that came from the chest. For each graft, one side connects to a coronary artery and the other side connects to a large artery that supplies blood to parts of the heart. These grafts bypass the blocked arteries and restore blood flow to the heart. Medical Illustration Copyright © 2022 Nucleus Medical Media, All rights reserved.


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