Heart bypass surgery, also known as Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG), is a heart surgical procedure performed to improve blood flow to a person’s heart. During the procedure, the cardiac surgeon uses blood vessels taken from another area of the patient’s body to bypass the diseased heart arteries (coronary arteries).
The goal of CABG is to provide a better, uninterrupted flow of oxygenated blood to the heart muscle when blocked or narrowed coronary arteries (coronary artery disease) are bypassed. If clogged or narrowed arteries are left untreated, then there is a high risk of a heart attack, which can be fatal or can damage the heart muscle leading to heart failure.
Types of Heart Bypass Surgery
- Single bypass: This is performed when only one artery is blocked/diseased
- Double bypass: Performed when two arteries are blocked/diseased
- Triple bypass: Performed when three arteries are blocked/diseased
- Quadruple bypass: Performed when four arteries (main coronary arteries and some major coronary artery branches) are blocked/diseased
Risks of Heart Bypass Surgery
Nowadays the risks for heart bypass surgery are assessed objectively by using validated risk prediction models (STS Score and Euro Score) which take into account some patient’s factors as well as some surgery-related factors. At the Cardiac Surgery Centre at King’s College Hospital London, Dubai, the cardiac surgery team, including the surgeons, other cardiac surgery professionals (cardiac anesthesiologist, cardiac surgery assistant & perfusionist) and cardiac intensive care team, has a wealth of experience in dealing with patients undergoing cardiac surgery. Hence the risks are kept to the minimum.
Some of the risks of cardiac surgery include bleeding, acute kidney injury, arrhythmias (irregular or slow heart rate), stroke, heart attack, mortality and infection. At KCHL Dubai the Cardiac team take all the necessary recommended precautions to ensure a safe journey of the patients.
Preparations for Heart Bypass Surgery
Before the procedure, the patient is normally issued with instructions of what he/she should do to optimize the outcome and thus minimizing possible risks and complications.
The patient will also have preoperative appointments where the doctor shall inquire about his/her general health, family medical history, and overall lifestyle.
Some tests will be recommended to enable the doctor to get a clear picture of the patient’s health. The tests may include:
- Blood tests
- Chest X-rays
- Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
- Coronary Angiogram
After the Procedure
The patient will be guided at every step during his/her recovery after cardiac surgery. Given that the ERAS program is part of the KCHL Dubai ethos, the patient will be well-informed, as from before the procedure is undertaken, regarding the expectations during their post-operative phase.
Several specialists (e.g. doctors, nurses, physiotherapist, dietitian, pharmacist, diabetologist, nephrologist) will be available to the patient to ensure a comfortable and swift recovery after cardiac surgery.
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