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Risk and possible complications of coronary artery bypass surgery

Photo credit: Gettyimages

Coronary artery bypass surgery creates a new path for blood to flow around a blocked or partially blocked artery in the heart. The surgery involves taking a healthy blood vessel from the chest or leg area. The vessel is connected below the blocked heart artery. The new pathway improves blood flow to the heart muscle.

Other names for this surgery are:

1. Coronary artery bypass grafting.

2. CABG. Pronounced "cabbage."

3. Coronary artery bypass graft surgery.

4. Heart bypass surgery.

According to Mayoclinic, coronary artery bypass surgery doesn't cure the heart disease that caused a blockage, such as atherosclerosis or coronary artery disease. But it can reduce symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath. The surgery, commonly called CABG, may reduce the risk of heart disease-related death.


Coronary artery bypass surgery is open-heart surgery. All surgeries have some risks. Possible complications of coronary artery bypass surgery include:

1. Bleeding.

2. Death.

3. Heart attack due to a blood clot after surgery.

4. Infection at the site of the chest wound.

5. Long-term need for a breathing machine.

6. Irregular heart rhythms, called arrhythmias.

7. Kidney problems.

8. Memory loss or trouble thinking clearly, which often is temporary.

9. Stroke.

The risk of complications is higher if the surgery is done as an emergency procedure.

Your specific risk of complications after coronary artery bypass surgery also depends on your overall health before surgery. Having the following medical conditions increases the risk of complications:

1. Blocked arteries in the legs.

2. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

3. Diabetes.

4. Kidney disease.

Medicines to control bleeding and blood pressure and to prevent infection are typically given before surgery to reduce the risk of complications. If you have diabetes, you may get medicine to control blood sugar during surgery.

Content created and supplied by: Kwajaffa (via Opera News )



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