Coronary artery bypass graft surgery or CABG is a procedure that uses your own veins (usually from the legs) or arteries to bypass narrowed areas and restore blood flow to heart muscle. Thus, bypass surgery can markedly reduce or relieve chest pain for most patients and can prolong life for those with certain patterns of severe coronary heart disease.
Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is used to treat people who have severe coronary heart disease (CHD) that could lead to a heart attack. CABG also may be used to treat people who have heart damage following a heart attack but still have blocked arteries. CABG also may be a treatment option if you have blockages in the heart that can’t be treated with angioplasty.
Deciding about the Treatment
To decide whether you’re a candidate for CABG, your doctor will do a physical exam. He or she will check your cardiovascular system, focusing on your heart, lungs, and pulse.
The doctor will also ask you about any symptoms you have, such as chest pain or shortness of breath. He or she will want to know how often and for how long your symptoms occur and how severe they are.
Tests will be done to find out which arteries are clogged, how much they’re clogged, and whether there’s any heart damage. There are some tests like EKG (Electrocardiogram), Stress test, Echocardiography related to the diagnostic.
Duration of Stay
8 days in the hospital, 12 days outside
After surgery, you’ll typically spend 1 or 2 days in an intensive care unit (ICU). Your heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen levels will be checked regularly during this time. While in the ICU, you’ll also have bandages on your chest incision (cut) and on the areas where an artery or vein was removed for grafting. After you leave the ICU, you’ll be moved to a less intensive care area of the hospital for 3 to 5 days before going home.
Full recovery from traditional CABG may take 6 to 12 weeks or more. Less recovery time is needed for non-traditional CABG.
Your doctor will tell you when you can start physical activity again. It varies from person to person, but there are some typical timeframes. Most people can resume sexual activity within about 4 weeks and drive after 3 to 8 weeks.
Returning to work after 6 weeks is common unless your job involves specific and demanding physical activity. Some people may need to find less physically demanding types of work or work a reduced schedule at first.
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