Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery (CABG) is a cardiac surgical procedure to treat patients with blocked coronary arteries. It is one of the most common types of heart surgery for patients with advanced coronary artery disease. Patients may be referred for to Dr. Garrett or Dr. Rhee for CABG Surgery by their Cardiologist if their coronary artery disease is not able to be fixed with medical treatment or coronary stenting. Patients are usually referred for surgery after a cardiac catheterization indicates a need for surgical intervention.
During the surgery, patients are placed under general anesthesia, and typically a vein from the leg and the left internal mammary artery from inside the chest are harvested as bypass conduits. Patients are then placed on a heart/lung bypass machine, which temporarily maintains blood circulation and oxygen in the patient’s body, while Dr. Garrett or Dr. Rhee uses the bypass conduits to create new routes for blood around the blockages.
The surgery generally lasts four to five hours; afterwards, patients are moved to the Intensive Care Unit. From there, they are transferred to the Cardiovascular Step Down unit for recovery, where they remain for three to four days after surgery. At the time of discharge, patients can walk normally and maintain a regular diet. A follow-up visit is scheduled a week after discharge, and recovery from surgery typically takes one to two months.