Bypass Surgery typically lasts three to six hours but may vary depending on the severity and number of blockages in the heart. The surgery is performed under the effect of a general anaesthesia.
The surgeon begins the procedure by removing a segment of a healthy artery or vein (graft) from another part of your body. Grafts are usually taken from the leg (saphenous vein), inside the chest (internal mammary artery) or the arm (radial artery).
Once the graft is ready, the surgeon makes an incision in the centre of the chest, along the breastbone, and spreads open the rib cage to access the heart. Unlike the CBP procedure that stops the heart temporarily and allows circulation of blood to body through the heart-lung machine, heart continues to beat in the beating heart CABG.
The surgeon stabilises the area of the heart to be worked on using a stabilisation device. The device gently attaches itself to the surface of the heart through small suction pods that will steady the heart’s movement in that area.
Next, one end of the graft is attached to the area that lies just above the blockage in heart artery. The other end is attached to an area below the blockage. Once the graft is successfully implanted over the blocked blood vessel, normal blood flow resumes in that portion.