What is it?: Cardiac bypass surgery is an operation to restore the flow of blood through the arteries that supply blood to the heart, when a blockage or partial blockage occurs in these arteries.
Operation: The operation, also known as a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), involves rerouting the blood flow around the obstructed part of the artery. This is done byusing a portion of a blood vessel taken from another part of the body, usually the leg or chest, and surgically attaching it across a severely narrowed or blocked coronary artery, thus "bypassing" the blockage. These "new" blood vessels carry blood around the obstruction, so that the blood supply to and from the heart is restored.
Scientists developed a method for usinghuman muscle tissue to create human blood vessels in the laboratory. These were then tested in animals, where they showed “excellent” blood flow and resistance to blockages and other complications. The vessels could also be safely refrigerated for up to a year.
London scientists have made a remarkable achievement in the field of bypass surgery. Doctors no longer have to rely on natural veins fromthe patient's body. They can opt for artificial veins and arteries that can act as grafts. The artificial graft tissue is made by combining man-made materials with human cells to make it elastic and durable and so it can attach to host tissue.
Usage of artificial veins or arteries would reduce recovery time, reduce pain, and save lives by making this type of surgery more available to people whoneed it.
In artificial grafting, human vascular smooth muscle cells and epithelial cells from umbilical cords are incorporated with an elastic scaffold of compliant polyurethane (carbonate-urea). The artificial grafts are then tested for durability in the lab by simulating blood flow in them. The testing has yielded positive results.
Why you may have to do a CABG happen?: Coronary arterydisease develops when one or more of the coronary arteries that supply the blood to the heart become narrower than they used to be, due to the buildup of cholesterol and other substances in the wall of the artery. This affects the blood flow to the heart muscle. Without an adequate blood supply, heart muscle tissue can be damaged.
When is the surgery offered?: Bypass surgery is usually performedwhen a person has two or three blood vessels with blockages, or when the major vessel has a severe blockage. Therefore, bypass surgery may be advised in the following situations:
* When there is severe narrowing of the left main coronary artery (because this major artery branches into several others, putting too much of the heart at risk if the angioplasty were to fail)
* If there is severenarrowing of any three arteries in a person who also has a weakly pumping heart
* If there is severe narrowing of the left anterior descending artery and at least one other coronary artery, plus either diabetes or a weakly pumping heart
* Following failed coronary angioplasty (see picture), a procedure performed to widen a narrowed coronary artery by inserting a balloon-tipped tube into theartery and inflating the balloon.
After surgery: The usual length of hospital stay after bypass surgery is 3 to 7 days. It takes about 4 to 6 weeks to recover following surgery, and about 6 weeks to return to normal activity, though it takes about 12 weeks for the breastbone to heal.
Early in your recovery, a ventilator (respirator) will help you to breathe and will make sure your blood getsthe right amount of oxygen. Your arms may be in soft restraints to prevent you from pulling out any tubes or IV lines in your sleep.
The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) will be the first stop after surgery. You will wake up a few hours after the operation, but may feel tired or groggy for a day or two.
Going home: Most people are discharged five to seven days after surgery. You will be given...