Coronary artery bypass surgery is a treatment for patients with coronary artery disease. It restores normal blood flow to the heart by creating a bypass around the blocked arteries. The bypass is done using a healthy blood vessel, or graft, that creates a new pathway for carrying blood to the heart.
During the procedure, a Deborah® surgeon makes an incision down the center of the chest, through the sternum. The patient’s heart will likely be stopped for a short time so the surgeon can perform the bypass procedure on a “still” heart. During this time, the heart-lung bypass machine takes over for the heart and lungs, so blood keeps moving throughout the rest of the body. This is called “on-pump” surgery. The pump is turned off after the grafts are in place. Heart beat and blood flow return to normal.
The surgery can sometimes be done without using the heart-lung machine, while the patient’s heart is still beating. This is called “off-pump” or “beating heart” surgery.
It will take about two months to recover from surgery. In the beginning, patients may feel worse than they did before surgery. This is normal and is usually related to the trauma of surgery, not how well the heart is working.