Coronary Angioplasty & Stenting Summary

The coronary artery bypass graft or CABG procedure is a form of heart bypass surgery that creates new routes for blood and oxygen flow around blocked or narrowed arteries. This is one of the most commonly performed surgeries. This procedure is performed in an operating room under general anesthesia.

Length of the procedure: 2 to 3 hours

Hospital Stay: Generally you will be hospitalized for 7 to 10 days after you have coronary aetery bypass graft.

Recovery before traveling home: Patients seeking coronary aetery bypass graft through medical tourism can return home within 7 to 10 days in most cases.

Travel Tip: Although you may only be hospitalized for a portion of your stay your surgeon will want to closely monitor you before they clear you for travel. For this reason, it is important to book at hotel nearby your chosen surgeon. The surgeon you choose my even recommend a hotel nearby.

Procedure Details

Your surgery will begin with the administration of general anesthesia. The area is then prepped with an antiseptic liquid and a sterile surgical draping. The surgeon will begin the procedure by opening the chest cavity and examining the heart.

During the procedure the surgeon will take an artery from another part of the body such as the leg or chest wall. They will graft this artery to the coronary artery. In most cases this is done while the patient is attached to a heart and lung machine.

When the surgeon has sewn the artery graft in place they will attach the aorta to the other end. Then, they will remove the patient from the heart and lung machine. At this point the chest is closed with wires and sutures close the chest wall and tissue. 

After the Procedure

After the procedure you will be taken to an intensive care unit for recovery. You will remain there for monitoring for around 24 hours in most cases. You will be given IV pain medication to ease discomfort.

You will have 2 to 3 tubes inserted in your chest. These tubes drain excess fluid from around the heart and chest cavity. Within a few days of your procedure you will begin a cardiac rehabilitation program. For most patients, they begin to feel better about 4 to 6 weeks after this surgery.

Results

Full recovery from coronary artery bypass can take 3 to 6 months. In general, the grafts placed during this surgery work well and remain open and unblocked for several years. However, recovery and results from this procedure are contingent upon a patient leading an active healthy lifestyle once they are cleared by their physician. 

Risks and Complications

As is with any surgery there are risks associated with a coronary artery bypass surgery. The following is a list of the most common risks and complications:

  • Reaction to anesthesia or medication
  • Breathing problems
  • Infection in lungs, urinary tract or chest
  • Bleeding and blood loss
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Post-pericardiotomy syndrome
  • Chest pain
  • Memory loss
  • Lack of mental clarity
  • Heart rhythm problems
  • Repeat surgery needed

Contact your physician if:

  • Chest pain develops
  • Shortness of breath develops
  • Pulse feels irregular
  • Pulse feels slow
  • Pulse feels fast
  • Dizziness or fainting occurs
  • Extreme fatigue develops
  • Severe headache develops and does not subside
  • Persistent cough develops
  • Cough has mucus that is bloody, yellow or green
  • Weight increases by more than 2 pounds in one day
  • Medications are problematic
  • Redness or swelling of the surgical wound develops
  • Fever over 101 develops
  • Chills develop