Heart Bypass Surgery (CABG)

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. With a 3-star ranking (the highest possible) from the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS), Allegheny General Hospital (AGH), AHN’s flagship cardiovascular hospital, is one of the best in the nation for bypass surgery. 

What is heart bypass surgery or coronary artery bypass graft (CABG)?

Bypass surgery reroutes blood to the heart around a narrowed or blocked section of artery. During the procedure, your cardiovascular surgeon:

  1. Connects a heart-lung machine (called cardiopulmonary bypass) to your heart to take over the function of pumping blood throughout the body while your heart is still.
  2. Removes a healthy artery or vein from another part of your body (usually the leg or arm).
  3. Attaches the healthy artery to the coronary artery above and below the blocked section.

Bypass surgery generally takes between three to five hours, depending on the condition of the heart.

Bypass surgery relieves pain

Double bypass surgery fixed Donald’s pain and got him back to normal. 

Types of heart bypass surgery or CABG

We perform several types of bypass surgery, including:

Open-heart surgery

During this procedure, the surgeon will open the chest through a small incision to reach the heart. Your surgeon will then choose between performing the surgery on-pump or off-pump. If on-pump, a cardiopulmonary bypass machine will support you by circulating oxygenated blood through your body during the operation. From there, your surgeon will use healthy blood vessels from other areas of the body to bypass the disea