Coronary Bypass Surgery
Heart bypass surgery (also known as open heart surgery or coronary artery bypass graft surgery) uses arteries or veins from other areas in your body to bypass your diseased coronary arteries. It can improve blood flow to your heart, relieve chest pain, and possibly prevent a heart attack.
- Medications and lifestyle changes have not improved your symptoms
- Your symptoms are worsening.
Some people may need to have angioplasty or bypass surgery on an emergency basis during a heart attack to limit damage to the heart.
Two recently developed types of bypass surgery do not require use of the heart-lung machine. These include off-pump bypass surgery and minimally invasive coronary artery bypass.
Carotid Artery Surgery
Carotid artery surgery removes plaque buildup from the carotid artery in the neck. This opens the artery and improves blood flow to the brain.
Bypass Surgery of the Leg Arteries
This surgery is used for atherosclerosis of the extremities. It uses a healthy blood vessel to bypass the narrowed or blocked blood vessels. The healthy blood vessel redirects blood around the blocked artery, improving blood flow to the leg.
If you have atherosclerosis, you may understandably hope that it's only a temporary ailment, one that can be cured with medicine or surgery. But atherosclerosis is a lifelong condition: once you have it, you'll always have it. It's true that procedures such as angioplasty and bypass surgery can help blood and oxygen flow more easily through the arteries. However, the arteries remain damaged, which means that you're more likely to have problems, such as a heart attack.
It is sobering, yet important, to realize that the condition of your blood vessels will steadily worsen unless you make changes in your daily habits. Many people die of complications from atherosclerosis, or they become permanently disabled. That's why it is so vital to take action to control this serious condition.
The good news is that you can control atherosclerosis. There is much you can do to manage your condition and improve your chances of living a long, rewarding life. The sooner you get started with your atherosclerosis treatment, the better your chances of avoiding further problems, feeling better, and staying well.
Ask for support from family and friends. Keep in touch with your doctor. Make new, heart-healthy lifestyle choices, one healthful habit at a time. Above all, be patient with yourself. You're on a new life path, one that requires plenty of courage, awareness, and persistence.
If you try your best to stay on that path, making a daily commitment to take good care of yourself and your body, you're likely to discover what millions of others have learned: You can live a full, rewarding life with atherosclerosis.