Cardiac Surgery - CABG
CABG or Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting refers to a type of surgical procedure that improves the flow of blood to the heart. Experts at Max Hospital, India perform this surgery on patients who suffer from severe CHD or coronary heart disease, also known as coronary artery disease. CHD refers to a condition whereby a substance known as plaque develops inside the arteries of the heart, which is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and some other substances found in the blood and thus hinders the smooth flowing of the blood to the heart. In case the blockage is extreme, shortness of breath, and in some cases, even heart attack may occur.
Symptoms CABG is recommended only to the patients who suffer from severe coronary blockages, which could lead to a heart attack. It is used for patients who have slight heart damage following a heart attack but still have blocked arteries. This technique is also recommended in case of severe blockages in the large coronary arteries that supply blood to a major part of the heart muscle, especially if the heart's pumping action has considerably weakened. When angioplasty fails to treat heart blockage, CABG is used as a treatment.
Medical Test or Diagnosis Various medical tests are done to identify which arteries are blocked, the cause of the blockage, and also whether there is any condition of heart damage. Some common tests that are performed are:
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)
- Stress Test
- Coronary Angiography
Pre-Surgery Precautions and Recovery Before the surgery, doctors often prescribe some precautionary measures regarding the intake of regular medications, a healthy diet, certain lifestyle changes, and other surgery-specific advice. Post-surgery, patients need to stay admitted in the ICU (intensive care unit) for a couple of days for observations in terms of regular checking for blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen levels. An intravenous line is often inserted into a vein in the arm, through which the patient gets medicines to control blood circulation as well as blood pressure. The doctor also recommends patients to wear compression stockings on legs as these are tight and creates gentle pressure up in the leg. The pressure keeps blood from clotting. Besides, doctors also provide specific instructions for recovering at home, regarding substantial care for the healing of the incisions, recognizing signs of infection or any other complications, an appropriate time for re-appointment and checkup, etc.
Special Approach for Treatment The surgery generally takes 3-6 hours with general anesthesia. Most surgeries are done through a long incision in the chest, while a heart-lung machine keeps blood and oxygen flowing through the body. In a CABG, a healthy artery or vein from the body is grafted or connected to the blocked coronary artery. This grafted artery bypasses the blocked portion of the coronary artery creating a new passage for the blood to route around the blockage, to the heart muscle.