Heart Bypass Surgery
Coronary artery disease narrows, or blocks, the arteries that supply blood to the heart. This condition increases your risk of heart attack and stroke. Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery can significantly lower this risk. Cardiovascular surgeons at the Allegheny Health Network (AHN) Cardiovascular Institute expertly perform this procedure, which bypasses, or goes around, diseased arteries.
About heart bypass surgery or CABG
Bypass surgery reroutes blood to the heart around a narrowed or blocked section of artery. During the procedure, your cardiovascular surgeon:
- Connects a heart-lung machine (called a cardiopulmonary bypass) to your heart to take over the function of pumping blood throughout the body while your heart is still
- Removes a healthy artery or vein from another part of your body (usually the leg or arm)
- Attaches the healthy artery to the coronary artery above and below the blocked section
Types of heart bypass surgery or CABG
In addition to traditional bypass surgery, we also offer:
- Robotic-assisted bypass surgery: Robotic-assisted surgery enables your surgeon to perform bypass surgery through smaller incisions. Your surgeon inserts a catheter (long, thin tube) with a camera through a small chest incision. While viewing the inside of the chest on a 3D monitor, your doctor performs bypass surgery with the assistance of robotic arms inserted through other small chest incisions. Learn more about robotic heart surgery.
- Off-pump bypass surgery: Also called “beating heart” surgery, this procedure takes place without the aid of a heart-lung machine. Instead of stopping the heart, your surgeon steadies small portions of it. The heart continues to pump and circulate blood while your surgeon performs bypass surgery.