Heart Disease Home > Reasons for Bypass Surgery

(Technically speaking, an open heart surgery is any procedure where the chest is opened, which certainly includes procedures beyond a heart bypass (a valve replacement, for example). However, because a heart bypass is the most common type of open heart surgery, for the purposes of this article, we will be using the terms "bypass" and "open heart surgery" interchangeably.)
Based on your past medical history, current symptoms, physical exam, and special tests, your doctor may recommend a procedure called a coronary artery bypass graft. A coronary artery bypass graft is also called CABG, bypass surgery, or open heart surgery.
The goal of bypass surgery is to take a blood vessel from somewhere else in your body and use it to bypass a vessel in your heart that has become damaged and blocked. This will improve the blood supply to your heart and, in turn, improve the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your heart muscle.
In most cases, this improvement in blood supply will help relieve many symptoms of heart disease that you may be currently experiencing, including chest pain, pressure, or tightness.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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