What is a coronary bypass surgery?

A coronary bypass surgery is a common procedure used to increase blood flow to an area of the heart with reduced blood supply, normally caused by a blocked or significantly narrowed coronary artery. Over a half million people each year in the US have coronary artery bypass surgery.

During the procedure, your surgeon uses blood vessels from your legs or chest to bypass the area of blockage and restore adequate blood flow through the arteries and to the heart.

Adequate blood flow to the heart via the coronary arteries is important because these arteries provide oxygen and nutrients to the heart, helping it to remain viable and able to meet the needs of the body. Your cardiologist can tell you if this procedure is recommended for you.

Why should you choose Emory for a coronary bypass surgery?

Our Adult Cardiac Surgery Service has performed more off-pump coronary artery bypass procedures to treat coronary artery disease than any other service in the country. What’s more, we’re a national leader in robotically assisted, minimally invasive coronary artery bypass surgery.

What is involved with a coronary bypass surgery?

During coronary artery bypass surgery, an incision is made down the center of the chest and through the sternum (median sternotomy) to allow your surgeon to visualize and access the narrowed coronary artery. The heart is stopped and you’re placed on a heart-lung machine to allow your surgeon to perform the graft on the stilled heart. A section of healthy blood vessel taken from your chest, arms or legs is then sewed, or grafted, onto the coronary artery above the blockage and reattached below to allow blood to bypass the blockage and provide greater blood supply to the heart muscle.

Did you Know?

There are more than 23 Emory Heart & Vascular Center locations throughout Atlanta and North Georgia. Learn more about Emory Heart & Vascular Center and how to make an appointment.

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