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Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting

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Arterial grafting often referred to as coronary artery bypass grafting, can be an effective treatment for a number of coronary artery diseases, including but not limited to atherosclerosis, heart attack, and any other condition blocking the arteries. This surgery has been perfected over the years and outlook for patients after surgery is very positive.

During this procedure your cardiothoracic surgeon will provide blood an alternative route past blocked arteries, often using a vein harvested from another place in the body. When a vein from the body is used, an appropriately sized, functioning vein is collected from the chest, the forearm or the leg. Then the body is attached to a “pump” machine that keeps blood flowing while the surgeon performs the procedure. Coronary artery bypass grafting specifically refers to replacing the arteries of the heart, but arterial grafting can take place anywhere in the body where a vein is blocked. During coronary artery bypass grafting the heart must be stopped to operate on the delicate muscle and veins. Alternative methods of this procedure include the use of synthetic veins and a “beating heart” method that does not require a pump to keep blood flowing in a patient, read more about the off pump bypass procedure here.

These arterial grafting will not cure coronary artery disease or the underlying cause that caused the initial vascular blockage. It is still important for patients undergoing arterial grafting to follow your doctor’s recommendations regarding dietary and lifestyle changes. Arterial grafting is considered major surgery and traditional coronary artery bypass grafting requires a significant incision. As such, postoperative care typically requires close monitoring and a few days in the hospital to recover.  Depending on the speed of recovery and the surgeon’s recommendations, activity and food will be advised while in the hospital. Once returning home it is extremely important that patients advise a physician to any illness, fever, chills, swelling at the incision or an increased amount of pain at the incision.

Read more about how our vascular surgeons harvest veins here.

If you would like to speak with one of the cardiac surgeons at Cardiac Surgery Associates of Tampa about arterial grafting, please request an appointment online or call us at 813.910.0027.