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Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery

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Also called: Also called: Bypass surgery, CABG, Coronary artery bypass graft

If you have coronary artery disease (CAD), the arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the heart muscle become hardened and narrowed. If lifestyle changes and medicines don't help, your doctor may recommend coronary artery bypass surgery.

The surgery uses a piece of a vein from the leg or artery from the chest or wrist. The surgeon attaches this to the coronary artery above and below the narrowed area or blockage. This allows blood to bypass the blockage. Some people need more than one bypass.

You may need bypass surgery for various reasons. Another procedure for CAD, angioplasty, may not have widened the artery enough. In some cases, the angioplasty tube can't reach the blockage.

A bypass also can close again. This happens in more than 10 percent of bypass surgeries, usually after 10 or more years.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

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The primary NIH organization for research on Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery is the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute -

Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery - Multiple Languages -

Date last updated: September 17 2008
Topic last reviewed: August 27 2008