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CABG: What should you do when you have multiple blockages?

by Pankaj Raj
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CABG What should you do when you have multiple blockages - BM Birla Hospital

Do you that CABG (Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting) is often pronounced as ‘cabbage’ in medical studies. CABG, commonly known as heart bypass surgery has been considered as gold standard treatment for patients suffering from CAD (Coronary Artery Disease) and has been performed for 40-50 years. This surgery has proven to be effective for patients with diabetes and with multiple blockages. This surgery entails the formation of a new channel that avoids the blocked segment of the coronary artery, allowing blood to flow normally. Here in this blog, we are going to discuss the CABG procedure, who may get benefit from this surgery, and many more with our panel of heart specialists practicing in the best cardiac hospital in India. 

Understanding the need of the surgery- CABG or Heart bypass surgery

Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) improves inadequate blood flow to the heart. It may be required if the coronary arteries, which provide blood to heart tissue, become restricted or obstructed. People with obstructive coronary artery disease, a kind of ischemic heart disease, may benefit from this procedure since it reduces the chance of significant consequences. In an emergency, such as a serious heart attack, CABG may be used.

Grafts required for CABG-

CABG bypasses the restricted or blocked coronary arteries by connecting blood vessels from another section of the body to blood vessels above and below the affected artery. Depending on the degree and number of blockages, one or more blood vessels may be used. arteries from the arm or chest, or veins from the legs, are the most common blood vessels.

  • Internal thoracic artery graft – This is one of the most popular bypass grafts, and it provides excellent long-term results. The coronary artery is usually attached to the lower end of the arteries below the occluded region, leaving the higher end intact.
  • Gastroepiploic artery- The transplant is widely used to treat right coronary artery blockage. It is not commonly utilized and is only indicated when a fourth arterial transplant is required. It’s not a ready-to-go option for a surgeon as performing a gastroepiploic graft is extremely tough.
  •  Radial artery graft – Because of the high occlusion rates, radial artery grafts were avoided for a long time in bypass surgery. The operation was reintroduced a few years ago, with better long-term results. Thanks to improved medical research that has utilized innovative procedures, as well as drug-based antispasmodic treatment to support the treatment outcome.

Why perform CABG?

Your surgeon will consider CABG as a treatment option if you have single or multiple blockages in your heart. This can also be performed as an emergency treatment for a sudden heart attack when the patient is not responding to other treatments. As per the expert opinion of the best cardiologist in Kolkata, apart from the emergency situation, your surgeon may recommend CABG for the following conditions.

  • If you experience severe chest discomfort as a result of a constriction of several arteries supplying your heart muscle, resulting in a lack of blood supply to the muscle even during mild exercise or during rest.
  • If you have more than one unhealthy coronary artery, and the left ventricle(the heart’s primary pumping chamber) isn’t working properly.
  • If the primary coronary artery on your left side is substantially constricted or obstructed. The left ventricle receives the majority of its blood from this artery.
  • You have an arterial blockage that can’t be treated with a technique that temporarily widens the artery by inserting and inflating a tiny balloon (angioplasty).
  • You’ve had an angioplasty or the insertion of a small wire mesh tube (stent) to keep an artery open that hasn’t worked.

FAQ- all your queries resolved:

What can I expect after my bypass surgery?

Surprisingly, after the first two or three days, the operation discomfort is minimal, and the symptoms can be managed with just a crocin tablet. For a few days, some patients may feel a dull tightness or discomfort in their chest, which is relieved by physiotherapy.

How safe is the CABG or bypass surgery for a heart patient like me?

 CABG has been performed for 40-50 years, and the daily addition of medical and scientific knowledge has transformed the number of cardiac surgeries performed in India alone to roughly 1.5 to 2 lakhs. Many clinical trials and research publications have emphasized the benefits and usefulness of the treatment in saving multiple lives, keeping these patients’ hope alive, and, most significantly, giving them a second chance to live.

How long will it take for my recovery?

In 4 weeks, a patient can return to a desk job, and in 3 months, he/she can be behind the wheel (obviously with a seat belt). You can resume your exercise under your doctor’s supervision.

Conclusion- Even after going through the blog, you have some queries or want a second opinion, you can always consult an expert from the best heart hospital in Kolkata and clear your doubts.

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