Is Beating Heart Bypass Surgery Right for You?

You can do a lot to control cardiovascular disease. Take medication. Change your diet. Exercise regularly. Making these and other lifestyle changes can help. Sometimes, these changes aren’t enough to reduce the effects of clogged arteries.

When that is the case, or if you have had a heart attack or other symptoms of coronary artery disease, your doctor may send you to a cardiologist.

A cardiologist specializes in diseases of the heart. Your cardiologist will test your cardiovascular system. After a few tests, your cardiologist may recommend coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG).

Testing

Next, you will undergo tests to find out which arteries are clogged. These tests can show how much your arteries are clogged and whether your heart is damaged.

Surgery

Once your condition is known, your surgeon will decide whether to operate on pump or off pump. On pump means you will be placed on a heart-lung machine during surgery. Your heart will be stopped and the heart-lung machine will take over your breathing and blood pumping function.

Off pump means your heart will continue to beat during surgery. The area where the surgeon is working will be immobilized by a tissue stabilization system.

What Makes You a Candidate for Beating Heart Surgery?

Here are some of the criteria that could make you a candidate for beating heart bypass surgery:

  • Your overall health
  • Your age
  • Your gender
  • Heavy aortic calcification – build up of calcium deposits on the arteries
  • Prior stroke
  • Weakened heart muscle
  • Carotid artery stenosis – a narrowing of the carotid artery

Your doctor will evaluate your condition and recommend the best option for you.

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.

Last updated: 22 Sep 2010

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