What is a Triple Bypass Surgery?

Submitted by Nic on March 13, 2013

The heart, in the human body, is supplied with blood through the coronary arteries. This network of arteries and veins carry blood to and from the heart, helping the heart do its job along with providing blood and oxygen to the rest of the body. These arteries often narrow or get blocked due to various issues. A leading factor in the arteries of the heart getting blocked is a sedentary lifestyle. A lot of the urban crowd undergo little or no exercise to keep them fit. Regular exercise keeps the blood moving and the arteries clear. Blocked arteries lead to coronary heart disease.

Once these arteries narrow, the blood supply to the heart is reduced, which makes the heart work harder and is potentially, one reason for a heart attack. As one of the methods of treatment for coronary artery disease, the doctor usually suggests a surgery to replace artery and open the blocked arteries. This surgery is called a bypass surgery.

In a bypass surgery, part of an artery is taken from some other part in the body and replaces the blocked artery. The arteries are often taken from the leg of the patient. This replacement enables proper blood flow again and reduces the threat of a heart attack.

A bypass can be done to replace one, two or even three blocked arteries. When three arteries are replaced, the procedure is known as a triple bypass surgery. The number of arteries or veins being replaced in the surgery is the number mentioned in the surgery.


A person with a triple or a higher bypass is typically considered a high risk patient. Such a patient could get a prolonged life of up to 5-8 years after the surgery. If the patient is young and has no other conditions, a triple bypass will take him on longer while if the patient is older, chances are he will suffer more coronary blockages even after a triple bypass.

Though a triple bypass sounds scary, it does not always mean that the patient is in a dire condition. Sometimes a single or double bypass is done only because more bypasses cannot be done. So do not judge the seriousness based on the fact that it a triple bypass.


Recovery from this surgery is a recovery from a major surgery. The patient is expected to spend a couple of days in the ICU or intensive care and then is shifted into regular care. There the patient spends about 10-12 days, depending on whether there are or aren't any complications. Post operative care lasts about 6 -12 weeks after which the patient can resume their everyday life.

Survival Rate

The survival rate of a triple bypass is quite high. Up to 85 percent of patients see a reduced heart attack risk and can get an extra 10 years. Most people survive this procedure successfully. Some could face complications like an infection, a potential heart attack, kidney failures, blood clots, inflammation of the pericardium, loss of memory and disorientation. Anaesthesia allergies are also very common in these surgeries as well. The level of risk associated with this surgery is very high, but there have been a lot of successes too. A triple bypass surgery just one of the many remedial surgeries to treat blocked arteries.

The cost of a triple bypass is very steep and can range between $US20, 000 - $US40, 000. The cost is decided depending on which technology is used or where the procedure is being done, and how much insurance coverage you have.


More articles from the Health Articles Category