Coronary Artery Bypass Graft

Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) is the most common type of heart surgery for adults performed worldwide.

What is a Coronary Artery Bypass Graft?

A coronary artery bypass graft is surgery to treat coronary artery disease. It allows blood to bypass narrowed or clogged parts of your arteries to improve blood flow to your heart.

CABG does not cure coronary heart disease (CHD) and atherosclerosis. It can ease symptoms, such as chest pain and shortness of breath, improve your heart function and reduce your risk of a heart attack.

During CABG, a healthy artery or vein from another part of your body (usually the chest, leg or arm), known as the graft, is attached to your coronary artery. One end of the graft is placed above the narrowed area or blockage in your artery and the other end below it. Blood then bypasses the blocked or narrowed part of your artery by flowing through your new healthy artery or vein to reach your heart.

You may need more than one graft depending upon the extent of your coronary heart disease and the number of coronary blood vessels that have become narrowed. These are known as a double, triple or quadruple bypass.

CABG is traditionally performed by open-heart surgery where a long cut is made in your chest to access your heart. On-pump coronary bypass surgery uses a heart-lung machine to keep your blood and oxygen flowing through your body. Off-pump or beating-heart surgery does not stop your heart during surgery.

Minimally invasive procedures are also available where your coronary bypass is performed through small cuts in your chest and often uses robotics and video imaging to help your surgeon operate in a small area.

Your surgeon will discuss the options with you in detail.

How long do coronary artery bypass grafts last?

Coronary artery bypass grafts last around 15 years but this varies from person to person. After that, another intervention, typically stent insertion, is usually required. If stenting is not suitable then another heart bypass may be performed.

As CABG does not cure your CHD, you should look after your heart health by following lifestyle recommendations and taking any prescribed medication.

What is the difference between bypass surgery and open-heart surgery?

Open-heart surgery is when your surgeon makes a large cut in your chest to access and repair a fault or damage in your heart. Open-heart surgery can be performed on the muscles, valves, or arteries of your heart.

Heart bypass surgery is traditionally an open-heart surgery, used to treat blocked or narrowed arteries. It involves opening your chest with a large cut, then taking healthy blood vessels from elsewhere in your body and attaching them to a blocked coronary artery so that your blood can bypass the blockage or narrowing.

What is the recovery process after a coronary artery bypass graft?

The recovery process after your coronary artery bypass graft will depend on how it is performed. Also, everyone recovers at different rates.

After open CABG surgery, you will typically spend one to two days in an intensive care unit (ICU) and most people stay in hospital for at least seven days. You will be given information on recovering at home and making lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of heart disease. You should take things easy for a few weeks.

Expect to be able to return to most of your normal activities after about six weeks, including working and driving. Most people make a full recovery within 12 weeks.

You will have a follow-up appointment about six weeks after your operation.

If you have a minimally invasive coronary bypass, you can expect to leave the hospital sooner and have a faster recovery.

What is the cost of a coronary artery bypass graft?

You will receive a formal quotation price for your coronary artery bypass graft following your consultation and any required tests with one of our expert cardiothoracic surgeons. This formal quote for your CABG will be valid for 60 days and includes unlimited aftercare.

Ramsay is recognised by all major medical insurers. Coronary artery bypass graft surgery is covered by most medical insurance policies. We advise you to obtain written authorisation from your insurance provider before your CABG.

We have a number of finance options if you are paying for your coronary artery bypass graft surgery yourself. These include:

  • Interest-free finance – 0% interest, no deposit and affordable monthly instalments.
  • All-inclusive Total Care - one-off pre-agreed payment for access to all the treatment and aftercare you need for complete reassurance.
  • Pay as you go – flexible funding to pay for your treatment as and when costs arise. Often used if your treatment costs are difficult to assess.

Coronary Artery Bypass Graft at Ramsay Health Care UK

Ramsay Health Care UK works alongside experienced and skilled cardiothoracic surgeons who perform both open and minimally-invasive coronary artery bypass grafts. They will arrange diagnostic cardiac tests to determine the optimum treatment for your coronary heart disease.

Convenient appointments are available for consultations, diagnostic tests and cardiac surgery without waiting. We understand the difficulty of living with heart disease symptoms and the need to perform treatment as soon as possible to prevent life-threatening cardiac conditions.

Our Ramsay hospitals adhere to strict infection control policies to ensure the safety of our staff and patients when visiting.


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