The technical name for “heart bypass” or “bypass surgery” is Coronary Artery Bypass Graft surgery (CABG). It is often recommended for patients who have a blockage or a significant narrowing of the heart arteries and has become one of the most common surgical procedure performed in this country. In the CABG procedure, a surgeon grafts a healthy artery from the chest (mammary artery) or a vein from the leg (saphenous vein) onto the blocked artery, providing a way to reroute the blood flow and thus bypass the blockage.
There are several methods surgeons use to perform bypass surgery:
The traditional method of performing bypass surgery involves use of a heart-lung bypass machine that takes over the function of these organs for the patient during the surgery. The heart is stopped for this “on pump” bypass surgery, enabling the surgeon to perform the bypass on a “still” heart.
Off-Pump: Surgeons commonly perform “off-pump” bypass surgery, also known as “beating heart” surgery. Off-Pump surgery requires specialized technology to stabilize areas of the beating heart, enabling the surgeon to operate without using the heart-lung machine. Off-pump surgery is not for every patient, but may be ideal for those at increased risk for complications from the heart-lung machine.
da Vinci® Surgical System
The newest technique for bypass surgery is a minimally invasive approach, robotically assisted with the da Vinci® Surgical System. This state of the art technology provides a way for the surgeon to gain access to a patient’s heart using several small incisions instead of a large chest incision. This approach enables the surgeon to have better visualization and greater precision while performing the procedure. The surgeon operates the robot from a console equipped with sensitive controls. The robotic arms are very agile and work as an extension of the surgeon’s hands.
All types of bypass surgery involve harvesting a healthy vein from another part of your body for use in forming the bypass. PinnacleHealth are experienced in the use of minimally invasive techniques, which have many benefits for patients, including less bleeding, faster healing and less pain.
The benefits of minimally invasive procedures:
Fewer side effects
A reduced risk of infection
A faster recovery