- by Medikoe Health Expert
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- Dec 23 2017
What is a heart bypass surgery?
A bypass surgery is used to replace damaged arteries in the heart with healthy blood vessels taken from other parts of the body to help in damaged artery repair. When the arteries get blocked or damaged, they restrict blood flow which hinders the functioning of the heart due to lack of oxygenated blood which leads to attacks.
Depending on the number of arteries that are blocked, the patient could require single, double, triple or quadruple bypass. If the number of blockages are more, the time taken and complexity of the surgery increases.
How do the blockages develop?
The arteries are lines by a layer called endothelium which ensures smooth flow of blood. Due to high blood pressure, cholesterol or smoking, this layer gets damaged causing plaque. When the plaque in the blood builds up on the arterial walls, it reduces the blood flow to the heart muscle and the lack of oxygenated blood supply weakens the muscle, exhausting it thus leading to failure. This condition is called atherosclerosis. A blocked or narrowed coronary artery means a high risk of a heart attack. When the condition becomes too severe to manage through medication, the doctor recommends a bypass surgery to prevent attacks.
Bypass surgery procedure
Like any other open heart surgery, before a bypass also the patient will have to undergo many tests for clear understanding like X-rays, ECG and angiogram. During the procedure, the patient’s body is hooked to a cardiopulmonary bypass machine. This machine ensures circulation of blood throughout the body during the surgery. The machine removes carbon dioxide and supplies oxygen to the blood without the blood going through the heart and lungs, allowing the doctor to perform the surgery.
After surgery, the patient is kept in observation and only after clear post-surgery instructions, they are discharged. A person who has undergone bypass surgery is recommend to refrain from heavy physical activity and has certain dietary restrictions.
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