Coronary Bypass Surgery: Insights into Procedure, Risks, and Recovery

Best Cardiac Surgeon In Delhi

When it comes to matters of the heart, the analogy of a roadblock couldn’t be apt. Just as a roadblock disrupts the smooth flow of traffic, a blocked coronary artery can lead to a heart attack or other severe problems. In such cases, bypass surgery becomes the lifesaving bypass route, much like a new road constructed to circumvent a traffic hold-up. Whenever it comes to surgery and mainly when it considers the vital organ like heart, individuals get worried.

Therefore, to provide individuals with crucial information about coronary bypass surgery this blog has been drafted. This blog sheds light on the intricacies of bypass surgery and what patients can expect during their journey to recovery. To make this post enriching the information used to draft this blog has been gathered by the insights shared by Dr. Sujay Shad, renowned as the Best Cardiac Surgeon In Delhi, India. Read the full blog to learn more.

Why is Coronary Bypass Surgery Done?

The heart works 24/7 and is responsible for supplying the entire body with blood. To do its job, the heart requires blood flow, which it acquires through a network of supply arteries that wrap around it. When the tissues in the body do not get enough blood flow, they cause a problem known as ischemia. By restoring blood flow to the affected heart muscle, coronary bypass surgery also helps in the treatment of ischemia. The surgery can also be performed as an emergency treatment for a heart attack if other treatments do not work. A heart surgeon would recommend coronary bypass surgery if one has the following:

  • A blockage in the left heart artery. This artery is responsible for supplying blood to the heart muscles.
  • Narrowing of the main heart artery.
  • Having severe chest pain that is caused by the narrowing of various heart arteries. The narrowing reduces the blood flow to the heart when performing light exercises or even at rest.
  • Having more than one diseased heart artery and if the lower left heart chamber does not work correctly.
  • Having a blocked heart artery that is difficult to treat with coronary angioplasty. This is a less invasive treatment that uses a balloon on the tip of a thin tube, known as a catheter, to widen the artery. Afterwards, a stent is used to keep the artery open.
  • An angioplasty with a stent has not worked. For example, an artery that got narrowed again after a stenting.

What Conditions Can be Treated by a Coronary Bypass Surgery?

The condition that is most likely to lead to coronary bypass surgery is coronary heart disease. The conditions included under coronary heart disease include angina pectoris, which indicates chest pain caused by ischemia in the heart, and silent myocardial ischemia, which is heart ischemia without showing any symptoms. Conditions that fall under coronary heart disease involve a narrowing of the arteries in the heart due to plaque (a buildup of fatty wax-life residue). If the plaque builds up inside the heart’s arteries, the arteries become stiffer and narrower. When an area of plaque opens up, blood clots can form and cause blockages in the arteries. Ischemia in sections of the heart is caused by these obstructions, which can lead to a heart attack.

Ideal candidates for heart bypass surgery

The build-up of a fatty material known as “plaque” can constrict or clog the coronary arteries. It is known as atherosclerosis. If a patient has many sites of atherosclerosis, the doctor may advise heart bypass surgery. If a patient has:

  • Pain in the chest that does not improve with medication
  • Unstable angina
  • Had a previous heart attack
  • Coronary artery disease: not appropriate for coronary angioplasty or stenting.

The Bypass Surgery Procedure – Best Cardiac Surgeon In Delhi

Coronary artery bypass surgery is done either open or through an incision in the sternum. During the procedure, a healthy blood vessel is removed from a body part such as the leg (long saphenous vein), arm (radial artery), or chest (internal thoracic artery). The heart is carefully stopped while the grafts are being generated. During this time, a heart-lung machine mimics the heart and lungs by delivering oxygen, removing carbon dioxide, and keeping the blood flowing. If the artery graft is obtained from the leg or arm, one end is joined to the aorta, and the other end is attached to the coronary artery beyond the obstruction by fine sutures. Blood can now readily reach the heart after bypassing the blocked and constricted region. If the internal thoracic artery is being used, the surgeon will redirect it by removing one end of it and reattaching it below the blocked section of the coronary artery. After the surgery, the heart will be restarted, the heart-lung machine removed, and the incision repaired with absorbable sutures. The sternum bone is reconstructed with stainless steel wires that remain in place when the bone heals. They are inert, do not set off metal detectors, and are MRI-compatible after 6–8 weeks.

After the procedure

  • When a person wakes up, a tube will be put into their throat to assist them with breathing, and it will be uncomfortable and disturbing, but it is necessary, and within 24 hours, a doctor will usually remove the tube.
  • On average, a person will spend around a week in the hospital after surgery, and soreness and night sweats are normal, and patients can expect to cough a lot because there may be some fluid in the lungs.
  • Most patients start eating and moving around after removing the breathing tube.
  • Platelet inhibitors are routinely used as post-surgery therapy to help prevent blood clots.

Are there any Risks Associated with Surgery?

Over the past few decades, bypass surgery has evolved significantly, boasting enhanced equipment, grafts, surgical and anesthesia techniques, risk factor control, and medications. Today, the success rates for bypass grafts remain exceptionally high, even 15 years post-surgery. The expert surgeon emphasizes that the surgery is relatively safe, with most centers in India achieving success rates exceeding 99%.

How Much Does it Pain after Surgery?

While pain is natural after any surgery. it is important to note that chest surgery generally causes less pain compared to abdominal surgery. A pain-free patient is more active and better equipped to engage in daily activities without the hindrance of pain-related complications.

Post-operative guidelines

Patients must follow a few post-operative guidelines after surgery, which include:

  • Lifting heavy objects, performing rigorous exercises, and driving should be avoided for several weeks after surgery to allow the sternum to recover.
  • To alleviate chest pain and avoid blood clots, medications may be recommended.
  • While recuperating, the doctor may advise patients to wear compression stockings around the calf muscles.
  • Patients should consult the doctor when they notice redness, swelling, irregular heartbeats, palpitations, chest pain, difficulty breathing, or weakness.

Patients can treat or prevent the advancement of CAD with lifestyle changes, such as:

  • Exercise regularly.
  • Consume a low-salt, low-cholesterol diet.
  • Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
  • Lose weight if a patient is overweight.
  • Control diabetes and high blood pressure.


In conclusion, bypass surgery serves as a crucial detour around. The roadblocks within the coronary arteries, ensuring a smooth flow of life-sustaining blood to the heart. The journey may have its challenges, but with the right surgeon and a commitment to rehabilitation, patients can look forward to a healthy, thriving life beyond their cardiac setbacks.

Moreover, if one is looking for a Best Cardiac Surgeon In Delhi. They may consult with Dr. Sujay Shad at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi. Dr. Sujay Shad’s comprehensive approach to bypass surgery encompasses meticulous planning, advanced surgical techniques, and compassionate post-operative care. With his guidance and expertise, patients can embark on their road to recovery with confidence, knowing that they are in the best hands. To learn more, visit the doctor now!

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