Heart Disease Channel
Topics
Medications
Quicklinks
Related Channels

Instruments and Grafts Used for Open Heart Surgery

One of the most important instruments used for open heart surgery is the heart-lung bypass machine. The heart-lung bypass machine is used during open heart surgery to add oxygen to your blood and pump the blood to your body. Bypass grafts are also used during open heart surgery; these grafts bring blood directly from your aorta to an area of your coronary artery that is just beyond the narrowed or blocked section.

(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.)
 

An Overview of the Instruments and Grafts Used for Open Heart Surgery

Every procedure requires special instruments and components. Two important parts of open heart surgery include the heart-lung bypass machine and the bypass graft.
 
Heart-Lung Bypass Machine
It is almost impossible to do open heart surgery without interrupting the natural functions of your heart and lungs. Therefore, a specialized and highly sophisticated machine, called the cardiopulmonary bypass machine, or "heart-lung" bypass machine, was developed to replace the functions of your heart and lungs while your heart surgery is being performed. Similar to your lungs, it will add oxygen to your blood. Like your heart, it will pump the blood to your body. This machine will only be used during your open heart surgery.
 
Bypass Graft
Heart surgery requires blocked vessels to be bypassed by new vessels. These new vessels, also called grafts, bring blood directly from your aorta to an area of your coronary artery that is just beyond the narrowed or blocked section. This blood vessel may come from an area in your leg, arms, wrist, or chest.
 
Life After a Stent: 5 Realistic Ways to Take Charge of Your Health

Heart Bypass Surgery

Referring Pages:
Terms of Use
Advertise with Us
Contact Us
About eMedTV
Privacy Policy
Copyright © 2006-2017 Clinaero, Inc.
eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind. Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click Terms of Use for more information.