Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), also known as coronary or heart bypass surgery, is a medical procedure used for restoring blood flow to the heart through bypassing blood flow around a portion of your heart’s blocked artery. There are different types of CABG, and your doctor will determine the best option for you according to your current condition and medical history.
Traditional Coronary Artery Bypass Graft
To bypass a blockage, your surgeon will make a six- to eight-inch incision below the blockage in the affected artery. A portion of your vein either from your groin, chest, or leg will be taken and used to form a graft close to the blocked artery. Your blood will then use this graft as a new path to your heart to bypass all damaged portions of the affected artery.
During the CABG on-pump surgery, a heart-lung machine will be used to make sure your heart and lungs function to circulate blood to your entire body. Your heart’s beating will be stopped, so your surgeon can conduct the surgery while your heart is ‘still’.
On the other hand, with beating heart or off-pump heart bypass surgery, beheartstrong.com.sg says the procedure will be performed while your heart is beating. Instead, your surgeon will utilise advanced operating instruments for stabilising or holding sections of your heart while creating a bypass. Meanwhile, your heart will still continue to beat and circulate blood throughout your body.
Minimally Invasive Coronary Artery Bypass Graft of MIDCAB
MIDCAB surgery is an ideal alternative for patients who only need a left internal mammary artery (LIMA) bypass graft to their left anterior descending (LAD) artery. Other minimally invasive heart bypass methods include port access, also referred to as video assisted, endoscopic, or thoracoscopic surgery, and robot-assisted surgery.
With minimally invasive surgery, the incision is smaller (around three to four inches) instead of the normal six to eight, or sometimes, 10-inch incision. The risk of infection is also minimal. Additionally, patients will experience less bleeding, trauma, and pain, faster recovery times, and only three to five days in the hospital after surgery.