Dr. Bipin Kumar Dubey

HOD And Consultant - Cardiac Science

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Dr. Bipin Kumar Dubey

HOD And Consultant - Cardiac Science

Manipal Hospitals, Delhi

Understanding And Navigating Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG)

Posted On: May 22, 2024

blogs read 5 Min Read

Understanding and Navigating Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting

Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), often referred to as "bypass surgery," is a crucial procedure used to treat coronary artery disease (CAD). This blog aims to provide a comprehensive guide to CABG, enlightening you about its purpose, procedure, and recovery process. We have also included recovery tips shared by our expert cardiovascular surgeon in Delhi. Continue reading till the end to gather the medically accurate facts about Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting. 


Demystifying Coronary Artery Disease (CAD): The Root Cause

CAD arises when fatty deposits, known as plaque, build up within the walls of the coronary arteries. These arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle. As the plaque accumulates, it narrows the arteries, restricting blood flow. This restricted flow can lead to chest pain (angina) or, in severe cases, heart attacks.

When CABG Becomes Necessary: Weighing Treatment Options

While medications and lifestyle changes can often manage CAD, in some cases, a more substantial intervention becomes necessary. CABG is typically considered when:

  • Blockages are severe: If significant blockages exist in multiple coronary arteries, CABG may be the best course of action.

  • Other treatments prove ineffective: If medications and procedures like angioplasty (stenting) fail to adequately improve blood flow or are not suitable options, CABG might be recommended.

  • Future risk assessment: In some cases, even with moderate blockages, the potential future risk of complications might necessitate CABG based on individual circumstances.

It's crucial to remember that the decision to undergo CABG is a collaborative one between you and your doctor, taking into account your specific situation, medical history, and overall health.

Consult our heart hospital in Delhi if you want to learn more about what is bypass surgery. 

Bypassing the Blockage: The Core of Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting

CABG involves "bypassing" the blocked or narrowed portions of the coronary arteries using healthy blood vessels from elsewhere in your body, typically:

  • Chest wall: The internal mammary artery (IMA) is a preferred choice due to its long-lasting durability.

  • Leg: The saphenous vein is another commonly used option.

CABG procedure steps involve

  • General anaesthesia: You will be completely asleep during the surgery.

  • Chest incision: A surgical incision is made through the chest bone or, in minimally invasive techniques, smaller incisions are used.

  • Harvesting blood vessels: The chosen vessels are carefully removed from their original location.

  • Grafting the bypass: The healthy vessels are then sewn to the aorta (the main artery leaving the heart) above the blockage and to the coronary artery beyond the blockage, creating a new pathway for blood flow.

  • Closing the incision: The chest is then closed with sutures or staples.

Back on the Road to Recovery: What to Expect After Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting

Following CABG procedure, you can expect

  • Hospital stay: You will typically remain in the hospital for several days after surgery.

  • Pain management: Medication will be administered to manage post-surgical discomfort.

  • Physical therapy: Rehabilitation exercises will be crucial to regain strength and mobility.

  • Dietary modifications: You may need to follow a heart-healthy diet to promote overall cardiovascular health.

  • Medication: Your doctor may prescribe medications to manage blood pressure, cholesterol, and other cardiovascular risk factors.

Recovery from bypass surgery can take several weeks or months, depending on your individual circumstances. It's important to be patient, adhere to your cardiovascular surgeon’s instructions, and prioritize rest and rehabilitation to ensure a smooth recovery.

Consult our cardiologist in Delhi if you need coronary artery bypass grafting CABG.

Tips to Recover After a CABG Surgery by Our Expert Cardiovascular Surgeon in Delhi 

  1. Listen to your body: Allow yourself ample time to rest and avoid strenuous activities as instructed by your doctor. Fatigue is common after CABG, and prioritizing sleep is essential for healing.

  2. Pain management: Don't hesitate to take prescribed pain medication to manage discomfort and stay comfortable during recovery.

  3. Start slow and gradually increase intensity: Don't push yourself too hard initially. Begin with gentle exercises as per your therapist's guidance and gradually increase the intensity and duration as you progress.

  4. Focus on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains: These nutrient-rich foods provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fibre to support your body's healing process.

  5. Limit saturated and trans fats: These unhealthy fats can contribute to further heart problems, so opt for lean protein sources and healthy fats like olive oil and avocado.

  6. Manage your sodium intake: Excessive sodium can contribute to high blood pressure, so be mindful of your salt intake and opt for low-sodium alternatives whenever possible.

  7. Quit smoking, if applicable: Smoking significantly increases your risk of future heart complications. Seek support from your doctor or a smoking cessation program if you need help quitting.

  8. Manage stress effectively: Chronic stress can negatively impact your heart health. Explore relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises to manage stress effectively.

  9. Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese can put additional strain on your heart. If weight loss is necessary, consult your doctor or a registered dietitian to develop a safe and sustainable weight management plan.

  10. Drink plenty of water throughout the day: Adequate hydration is essential for overall health and recovery. Aim for eight glasses of water daily or as recommended by your doctor.

In recent years, minimally invasive techniques using smaller incisions and robotic assistance have been increasingly employed, offering potential benefits like faster recovery and less pain. While Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) is a well-established treatment for CAD, other options like percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) with stenting might be suitable for some individuals, depending on the specific case and the doctor's recommendation. Book an appointment with our expert cardiovascular surgeon in Delhi to know the details about the procedure. 

Explore our official blog page to read the latest blogs shared by our doctors. 

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