What is coronary artery disease?
Coronary artery disease is a narrowing of the coronary arteries (blood vessels that supply the heart muscle with oxygen). It reduces the blood supply to the heart muscle, leading to angina and heart attacks.
What are the benefits of Heart Bypass Surgery?
You should get less pain. Surgery may also improve your breathing and how well your heart works. Sometimes surgery can reduce the risk of you having a heart attack.
What does the operation involve?
The operation is performed under a general anaesthetic and usually takes about three hours. Your surgeon will make a cut down the front of your chest, through your breastbone. You will be connected to a heart-lung machine, which allows your heart to be still while the bypasses are performed. Your surgeon will use a length of blood vessel, taken from elsewhere in your body, to bypass the blockage and so restore a good blood supply to your heart.
How soon will I recover?
After the operation you will be transferred to the cardiac intensive-care unit or high-dependency unit for a few days, and then to the ward. You should be able to go home after 7 to 10 days. The healthcare team will tell you when you can return to normal activities. Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Most people make a good recovery, with relief from angina, but symptoms can sometimes come back.