Types of Bypass Surgeries For Treating Heart Diseases

Submitted on March 27, 2012

There are several types of bypass surgery, namely heart bypass surgery (which includes open heart surgery, triple bypass surgery), and gastric bypass surgery.

Heart Bypass Surgery for Treating Heart Diseases

When the coronary arteries are blocked, heart bypass surgery is done to cure the problem. In a bypass surgery, the blood is channelled to the heart through a new pathway.

While doing a coronary artery bypass graft surgery, which is known as 'cabbage' or CABG for short, a blood vessel is grafted from another part of the body and placed in a area to bypass the bloackage. This restores the flow of blood to the heart muscle. The vessel that is used is known as graft. The graft vessel can come from your arms, legs, or even chest. The surgeon, performing the surgery decides which graft vessel to use and it all depends on the size of the coronary arteries and how it's blocked.

Coronary Artery Bypass

There are various types of coronary artery bypass

Either the surgeon will perform a traditional surgery or use minimally invasive surgery.

Traditionally Bypass Surgery

In the traditional method, the surgeon will make an incision or cut of six to eight inches from the centre of the breastbone. This provides direct and easier access to the heart. The patient is hooked to a heart-lung bypass machine that circulates the blood throughout the body while the surgery is going on. The surgeon performs the bypass surgery while the heart is stopped. The surgery takes about four to five hours and the heart is generally stopped for anywhere between thirty to ninety minutes. After the surgery is over, the surgeon uses internal wires to close the breastbone, and closes the chest with traditional external stitches.

Off-Pump Heart Bypass Surgery

Beating heart surgery or 'off-pump' bypass surgery is carried out with the heart still beating. The heart is not hooked to the heart-lunch machine that is used in the previous type of surgery. Advanced operating equipment is used to stabilize parts of the heart as well as work on the bypass to the blocked artery. As the surgery carries on, the heart pumps and circulates blood, as usual.

This surgery technique is suitable for people who might be susceptible to complications that can arise because of their condition that is in case they have kidney or breathing problems, prior stroke, carotid artery stenosis, build up of plaque in the aorta, and vascular disease.

Minimally Invasive Heart Bypass Surgery: This bypass surgery is carried out by making a small incision in the chest of the patient. Sometimes surgeons might also carry out a surgery through a keyhole incision and use robotic-assisted techniques.