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Patient Education: Diseases Conditions Treatments & Procedures

Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery

Overview

  • Alleviates angina that results from the decrease in oxygen to the heart
  • After surgery, more oxygen will be supplied to your heart muscle by increased blood flow
  • Bypass surgery is for patients whose angina does not improve through medical treatment
  • Can prolong life and improve the quality of life
  • Although the majority of patients are completely free of angina after bypass surgery, it does not cure coronary artery disease. Angina may reoccur.
  • You will need to modify your lifestyle to slow the progression of coronary artery disease.
  • Common early risks of coronary artery bypass surgery:
  • Excessive bleeding after surgery and another exploration of your chest wound may be necessary (this is rarely serious).
  • Irregular heart beating for a short period of time is not usually serious but may occur

  • Temporary side effects of bypass surgery:
    • numbness along the incisions
    • swelling of the ankle and foot where the vein was removed
    • fatigue (tiredness)
    • loss of time related to major surgery
    • some emotional changes
    • occasional confusion
    • numbness and tingling of the left breast area and fingers (when the internal mammary artery has been used as a bypass).