As with all types of surgery, a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) carries risks of complications.
Some of the main complications associated with acoronary artery bypass graft are described below.
Up to one in every three people who have acoronary artery bypass graft will develop a problem called atrial fibrillation, a condition that causes an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate.
However, this isn't usually serious and can normally be easily treated with a course of medication.
There's a chance that the wounds in your chest and arm or leg (depending on where the grafted blood vessels were removed) could become infected after acoronary artery bypass graft.
This is estimated to occur in up to one in every 25 people who have the procedure.
There's also a smaller chance of more serious infections affecting your lungs or the inside of the chest after having acoronary artery bypass graft.
Most infections that do develop after the procedure can usually be treated successfully with antibiotic tablets or injections.
Less than one in every 20 people who have acoronary artery bypass graft will experience reduced kidney function after surgery. In most cases, this is only temporary and the kidneys begin working normally after a few days or weeks.
In rare cases, you may need to have temporary dialysis until your kidneys recover. This involves being attached to a machine that replicates the functions of the kidneys.
Up to one in every 20 people experience some problems with their memory after acoronary artery bypass graft and also find it difficult to concentrate on things like reading a book or newspaper. This will usually improve in the months following the operation, but it can sometimes be permanent.
There's also a risk of serious problems affecting the brain during or after a coronary artery bypass graft, such as a stroke . It's estimated that around one in every 50 people who has a coronary artery bypass graftwill experience a stroke, which can leave you with permanent movement, speaking and swallowing problems, and in some cases can be fatal.
Both the heart and the coronary arteries that supply the heart with blood are in a vulnerable state after acoronary artery bypass graft, particularly during the first 30 days after surgery.
Around one in every 15-50 people who have acoronary artery bypass graft are estimated to have a heart attack during surgery, or shortly afterwards. Heart attacks are the leading cause of death after acoronary artery bypass graft.
Following acoronary artery bypass graft, there are several factors that increase your risk of developing complications, including:
Your surgical team will be able to provide you with more detailed information about any specific risks before you have surgery.
A coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) is a surgical procedure used to treat coronary heart disease. It diverts blood around narrowed or clogged parts of the major arteries to improve blood flow and oxygen supply to the heart.
It's a good idea to be well prepared before going into hospital to have a coronary arterybypass graft (CABG). You may find the advice below useful: get informed find out as much as you can about what your operation involves, arrange help to help you at home after coming home from hospital, sort out transport to take you home, etc.
Coronary artery bypass graft surgery usually lasts three to six hours. However, it may take longer depending on how many blood vessels are being grafted. Blood vessels can be taken from your leg (saphenous vein), inside your chest (internal mammary artery) or your arm (radial artery).
You'll usually need to stay in hospital for around seven days after having a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), so medical staff can closely monitor your recovery. During this time, you may be attached to various tubes, drips and drains that provide you with fluids and allow blood and urine to drain away.
As with all types of surgery, a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) carries risks of complications. Some of the main complications associated with acoronary artery bypass graft are irregular heartbeat, infection, reduced kidney function, brain problems and heart attacks.
After you've been discharged from hospital, you may experience some side effects as a result of the operation. These can include: loss of appetite, Constipation, back pain, tiredness and difficulty sleeping, feeling upset or having mood swings
A coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) isn't a cure for heart disease, so it's important to adopt a healthy lifestyle and continue taking any prescribed medication after the operation to reduce your risk of getting heart problems in the future.
If you have coronary heart disease and the arteries around your heart are severely narrowed, it may be possible to have a procedure called a coronary angioplasty instead of a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG).
Chauffeur Alec Keep, aged 66 when interviewed, had a heart bypass in March 2007 in Papworth Hospital, after he had two heart attacks.