When medical tests reveal severe plaque buildup in your heart arteries or show blockages in multiple blood vessels, your doctor at UNC REX Healthcare may recommend coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. This common treatment restores proper blood flow to your heart and can reduce chest pain, lower the risk of heart attack and let you enjoy a more active lifestyle.
What to Expect From CABG Surgery
Before CABG surgery, a medical professional may perform a test called vein mapping. This procedure uses ultrasound to identify blood vessels in your chest or leg that the surgeon can take to create a bypass around narrowed heart arteries.
During surgery, the surgeon divides your breastbone in half and opens your rib cage to access the heart. You’ll likely receive medication to temporarily stop your heart so the surgeon can operate, but a heart-lung machine will keep blood moving throughout your body.
The operation usually lasts four to six hours. Plan to spend at least one night in the intensive care unit after the procedure and about five days in the hospital to recover.
Off-Pump CABG (Beating-Heart Surgery)
Instead of stopping your heart and using a heart-lung machine during surgery, a surgeon may steady your heart using a mechanical device. This approach reduces the risk of complications and leads to a faster recovery.
Trust Our Expertise
You benefit from a surgical team that blends clinical expertise with compassion. Trust your neighbors, who consistently report high satisfaction with UNC REX Healthcare’s heart surgeons. We work to help you achieve the best possible outcome of your procedure.
After surgery, cardiac rehabilitation helps you safely regain strength and endurance and reduce your risk of future heart conditions.