Coronary artery bypass surgery is one of the most common types of procedures performed in the United States and is essential for patients that have clogged arteries. Arteries in the heart can become clogged because of excess fatty tissue buildup which interferes with healthy blood flow. Reduced circulation can cause a number of health issues and increase the risk of a heart attack. Our doctors have extensive experience performing heart surgery and can determine whether you are a candidate for this procedure during your consultation.
How Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery is Performed
Heart surgery is a fairly complicated procedure and is always performed under general anesthe-sia. You may need to have an ECG and EKG, blood tests, and x-rays from your physician be-fore surgery so we have information about your overall health.
The procedure involves grafting a blood vessel from the leg or another part of the body to the affected coronary artery. We will need access to the heart by dividing the breastbone and stop-ping the heart from pumping blood during the procedure. Blood is sent to the body through a heart-lung machine.
We monitor the patient the entire time to measure the heart’s rhythm, electrical activity, and oth-er factors.
Coronary artery bypass surgery can take anywhere from two to six hours, depending on the pa-tient and the number of bypasses needed. You can expect to stay in the hospital for about a week, including up to three days in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
Patients undergoing a minimally-invasive coronary artery bypass procedure have a shorter re-covery time because this procedure does not require stopping the heart and can be performed by making very small incisions.
Life After Coronary Bypass Surgery
After the initial recovery process is complete, you may need to join a cardiac rehabilitation pro-gram so that you can slowly get your strength back and learn to deal with stress without causing further damage to the heart. Some patients also need to take prescription medication that keeps cholesterol levels under control.
Most patients can return to work in 4 to 6 weeks. You will need plenty of rest and will also need to limit physical activities during the recovery phase. Statistics show that some patients need to return for a second proceeder within 10 years.
Learn more about coronary artery bypass surgery by scheduling an appointment at our Los Angeles or Glendale office today.