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. Depending on the technique used by the surgeon, CABG can be Beating Heart Surgery or Cariopulmonary Bypass Surgery.
Off - Pump or Beating Heart Surgery typically lasts 3 to 6 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. Using a stabilisation device, the area of the heart to be operated upon is immobilised and stabilized for the duration of the surgery.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.
In On - Pump or Cadiopulmonary Bypass Surgery the heart is temporarily stopped and circulation of blood to body is done through the heart-lung machine.
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.