What is Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) Surgery?
A coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery is a surgical procedure for improving the rate of blood flow in a patient suffering from a severe form of coronary heart disease (CHD). A CHD is caused when the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart from the rest of the body develop a waxy substance called ‘plaque’ which results in creating obstruction in the arteries by narrowing the inner circumference of the arteries. This reduces the rate of blood flowing to the heart in a significant manner.
A coronary heart disease (CHD) causes angina (heart discomfort) and chest pain. If left untreated the plaque can rupture and completely block the artery and restrict blood flow from it which can lead to a heart attack (complete heart failure).
What is the Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) Surgery Procedure?
This is a major type of heart (cardiac) surgery and is performed under general anesthesia to the patient. The cardiac surgeon makes an incision along the middle of the chest and using a surgical saw will separate the sternum (breast bone). This is called a median sternotomy and the heart is then cooled with iced saline water. The surgeon will then inject a preservative solution in the arteries to minimize the risk of a heart failure as the blood flow gets reduced to the heart.
The next step is to perform a ‘cardio-pulmonary bypass’ that involves connecting the body to a ‘heart and lung’ machine that takes over the cardiopulmonary functions during the surgery.
The surgeon uses a grafted blood vessel taken from large blood vessel in the body, usually the saphenous vein from the leg. The grafting procedure requires attaching one end of the saphenous vein before the blockage in the artery and the other end is attached to the aorta which creates a diversion (or a bypass) around the obstacle in the artery.
The surgeon may also use a chest wall artery such as the one from your left internal mammary artery. This artery is usually reconnected to the left anterior descending artery or one of its major branches after the blockage. The main advantage of using a mammary artery for a graft is that they tend to stay clear of blockages for a longer period of time than the saphenous leg veins.
The coronary artery bypass graft procedure is usually a 2-3 hour procedure in which the body is connected to the heart and lung machine for about 60 minutes. After the bypass is completed the surgeon will first reattach the sternum (breastbone) by using stainless steel surgical clamps and close the incision with stitches. There will be a few plastic drainage tubes attached to the chest to allow any internal excess blood to flow out from the chest cavity.
Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) Surgery Recovery
The surgeon will remove the stitches (sutures) from the incisions in the chest within 4-6 days after a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. The breastbone takes around 5-6 weeks to get healed and is the primary drawback of a CABG surgery. Patients are advised to avoid lifting heavy objects (above 10 pounds) or perform exertive activities during the time the sternum takes to get completely healed.
The cardiothoracic surgeon will advise to undergo exercise stress testing for 4-6 weeks after the CABG surgery and starts a cardiac rehabilitation program for you. This usually involves of a 12 week routine of increasingly stressed exercise during your monitoring to check for signs of weakness and other complications in the heart.
The patient will have to adopt certain lifestyle changes in order to raise the chances of success after the surgery, such as quitting smoking, losing weight, shedding dietary fat, managing blood pressure and their diabetes (blood sugar level) as well as reducing blood cholesterol levels.[free_quotes_and_consultation]
Risks and Complications of Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) Surgery
As with any major surgery there are certain risks and complications that are seen in rare circumstances after a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. The mortality rate associated to CABG procedure is very less at around 3-4%. Heart attacks are rarely seen at around 5% of patients during, or soon after, the CABG procedure.
These major complications are seen in patients who:
- Are elderly (70 years and above)
- Have weak heart muscle function
- Have a blocked left main artery
- Have diabetes
- Have chronic lung disease
- Have chronic kidney failure
The mortality rate in women could be slightly higher if they are in their advanced age as more women tend to acquire a coronary artery disorder around 10 years later than that generally seen in men. As women tend to have a smaller body structure than men, the delicate surgery for CABG gets more difficult due to their comparatively smaller arteries.
Why Choose India for Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) Surgery?
India is well known for having a nationwide network of world-class cardiac specialist hospitals and clinics, situated across all major cities such as Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, etc. These networked hospitals and clinics are equipped with the most advanced cardiac surgical instruments. These hospitals offer global-standard quality of treatment and warm hospitality to the patients during their treatment and hospital stay.
Connect with Travcure Medical Tourism Consultants for Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) surgery in India
Travcure Medical Tourism Consultants are at the frontlines of managing treatment of coronary artery bypass graft procedure and other cardiac surgeries in India. Travcure has an excellent team of medical consultants who are vastly experienced in managing all types of major cardiac surgeries in India with the most experienced and well trained cardiac surgeons at the lowest cost. [free_quotes_and_consultation]