Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery reroutes blood around
blocked arteries, increasing blood flow to the heart muscle tissue.
The surgeon makes a vertical incision in the skin and muscle in the
middle of the chest and then cuts through the breastbone (sternum).
The surgeon spreads the rib cage with a retractor to expose the heart
and then cuts through the lining that protects the heart (pericardium).
To reroute blood flow around the diseased blood vessel, surgeons
typically use a portion of the saphenous vein in the leg or an internal mammary
Regardless of which type of blood vessel is used, oxygen-rich blood
from the aorta is rerouted around the blocked section of the coronary artery to
feed the heart muscle.
April 5, 2012
Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology
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