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Cardiac Services
Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery (CABG)

Also called open-heart surgery, coronary artery bypass, coronary bypass or bypass surgery, this procedure is the most common type of all heart surgeries. More than 300,000 people successfully experience bypass surgery in the United States each year.

Why is it performed?

CABG surgery is performed to bypass a blocked or diseased portion of a coronary artery. This allows oxygen rich blood to return to the heart muscle, which has been deprived of blood because of coronary artery disease. The surgery is done to relieve symptoms of coronary artery disease, prevent the possibility of more heart problems and to prolong life.

The surgery is usually performed in people with:

  • Coronary artery disease in several vessels (arteries or veins)
  • Poor function in the heart’s main pumping chamber
  • Debilitating chest pain (also called angina)

How is it performed?

In this procedure, the heart surgeon may perform endoscopic vein harvesting (a healthy section of vein from the leg, chest or arm is removed and transferred to the outside of the heart). This is called a graft. One end will be attached to the ascending aorta, the large artery that carries oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body. The other end of the graft will be attached to a coronary artery below the blocked area.

This type of surgery is done to the outer walls of the heart; it doesn't require opening up the chambers of the heart, and typically takes two to six hours, depending on the number of bypasses needed.

Sometimes people talk about single, double, triple or quadruple bypass surgery. This refers to the number of blocked arteries that had to be bypassed. However, the need for more bypasses doesn't necessarily mean the heart condition is worse.

Surgery Methods

On Pump
During surgery, the heart is stopped and connected to a heart-lung machine that circulates oxygenated blood and does the work of both the heart and lungs.
Off Pump
An approach referred to as “beating heart surgery” that allows the heart to continue beating during the operation in an effort to minimize the impact of coronary bypass surgery.
Minimally-Invasive
A new type of bypass surgery for patients whose blockages can be bypassed by smaller incisions and whose risk of complications is low. This procedure may be done without stopping the heart and can be used to bypass one or more coronary arteries or to replace heart valves.
    • This is a new type of surgery that uses smaller incisions. As a result, there is often less pain and a faster recovery compared to more traditional open chest heart surgery.
    • Some patients can leave the hospital within 48 hours.

Many factors determine whether traditional, beating heart or minimally invasive coronary artery bypass surgery is best for the patient. The surgeon will discuss the options with the patient.

Robotic Surgery
Futuristic robotic devices are now offered to assist surgeons in doing some of the minimally-invasive heart surgeries, such as valve repair and replacements and simple bypass surgeries. More and more attention is being given to procedures that reduce risk for patients, and Kaleida Health heart surgeons and cardiologists remain dedicated to providing the latest treatments with the most advanced technology for safe and successful heart surgery.

CT Surgery Group
(716) 859-7600

Janerio Aldridge, MD
Hashmat Ashraf, MD
Gary Grosner, MD