Heart Bypass Surgery – Things you need to know about

Coronary artery bypass graft surgery, or simply put, Heart Bypass Surgery, is performed to improve blood flow to your heart.

It is one of the most common surgeries performed on adults.

It is recommended by the doctors when one or more blood vessels that transport blood to the heart muscles become blocked.

In this treatment, the blood vessels are taken from another part of your body to bypass a blocked artery.

This helps to increase blood and oxygen flow to your heart again.


Heart bypass Surgery and Its Types

A doctor recommends a specific type of surgery based on the number of arteries blocked in your body.

1. Single bypass: If only one artery is blocked
2. Double bypass: If two arteries are blocked
3. Triple bypass: If three arteries are blocked
4. Quadruple bypass: If four arteries are blocked


More arteries blocked means that the surgery may take more time and the process will be extra complex.

Furthermore, the risk for heart failure, heart attack or any other heart problem depends on the number of arteries blocked.



Since Heart Bypass Surgery is open-heart surgery, there are certain related complications you must be aware of.

They are:

1. Heart rhythm issues (Or arrhythmia)
2. Pneumonia
3. Fever
4. Blood clots that can augment your risk of heart attack or stroke
5. Infections of the chest wound
6. Breathing problems


Several factors can impact these complications, such as your age, any medical condition you have, or the number of bypasses you get.

The risks of complications are higher if the surgery is performed as an emergency procedure.


How can You Prepare for your Bypass Surgery?

If your surgery is pre-scheduled, you’ll need to have different preoperative appointments where the doctor will check your health and family’s medical history.

You’ll require to undertake chest x-rays, blood tests, and an electrocardiogram (EKG) before your surgery.

The doctor may also perform a coronary angiogram.

The doctor will also recommend health and diet changes before the surgery or might also make some changes in your medication.

At last, you must also need to make arrangements for support post-surgery.


What to expect?

1. During Surgery: Heart Bypass Surgery normally takes 4-6 hours under general anaesthesia.

 For general anaesthesia, a tube is inserted into your mouth. It is attached to a ventilator, which breaths for you during and after the surgery.

Most heart bypass surgeries are performed via a long incision made in the chest. At the same time, a heart-lung machine continues to flow blood and oxygen in your body.


2. After Surgery: You need to spend a day or two in the intensive day-care unit. The tube will remain in your mouth until you are fully awake and able to breathe properly.

The doctor might have also put a thin tube called a catheter into your bladder to collect urine. It will also be removed by the doctor once you are able to get up and use the bathroom on your own.

You may experience soreness in your chest and will have discomfort for a maximum of 2-3 days. The doctor will probably recommend some medications for the same.

After returning home, if you experience the complications mentioned below, give a call to your doctor.

1. Rapid heart rate
2. Worsened or new pain around your chest
3. Discharge from your chest wound
4. Reddening around your chest wound
5. Fever

You can expect a recovery period of 6-12 weeks. With your doctor’s approval, you can start working, and even begin exercising.



Most people will feel tranquil post-surgery. However, it’s still possible that other arteries will get blocked over time, requiring another bypass surgery.

For healthy and long-term outcomes, you need to sincerely take your medications and control cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes.

You must also follow certain healthy tips, such as:

1. Exercise regularly
2. Control stress
3. Limit/Stop smoking
4. Follow a nutritious diet
5. Balance your weight


Alternatives to Heart Bypass Surgery

Different alternatives have become available to Heart Bypass Surgery. Check them out.

1. Minimally Invasive Procedure: This procedure involves making small incisions in your chest. Afterwards, the arteries from your chest or veins from your legs are attached to your heart.

 The surgeon inserts the instruments through the small incisions and utilises a video monitor as a guide to perform the surgery.


2. Angioplasty: In this treatment, a tube is threaded through your blocked artery. Then a balloon is inflated to broaden the artery.

 The balloon is then removed and a small metal scaffold (stent) is placed. It helps to prevent the artery from contracting back.



3. Lifestyle and diet changes: The best alternative to bypass surgery is to prevent your artery from getting blocked.

 The best way to prevent it is by following a “heart-friendly” diet and lifestyle. Consume a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids and low in saturated and trans fat. Also, exercise regularly.


Final words

A successful bypass surgery can improve your blood and oxygen flow. But prevention is always better than cure.You must implement some healthy habits in your lifestyle to avoid any heart problems in the future.For best results, it is important to follow a healthy diet and lifestyle.

The Department of Cardiology & Cardio-Thoracic and Vascular Surgery at Neotia Getwel Healthcare Centre holds immense expertise in treating health-related problems.

With state of the art technology and an experienced team of cardiologists, one can easily get their health-related concerns diagnosed and treated successfully.

To book your appointment, click here.



Though all attempts are made to provide correct information on the subject, inadvertent & typographical errors arising out of manual intervention cannot be ruled out. It is requested to bring any such discrepancies to the notice of the blogger for correction.