What is On-pump Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG)?
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) is a surgical procedure to bypass a blocked artery of the heart. It involves incising a small part of a blood vessel (most commonly a vein from the leg) and using it as a graft (a piece of living tissue that is transplanted surgically). The procedure is indicated for the treatment of narrowing and blockages in the coronary arteries, which can lead to serious complications if left untreated. With on-pump surgery, the heart is stopped temporarily from beating and connected to a cardiopulmonary bypass machine (an artificial circulation system that functions similarly to the heart and the lungs) during the surgery.
Procedure of On-pump Coronary Artery Bypass Graft
During a CABG procedure, the blood is first diverted into the cardiopulmonary bypass machine and the heart is stopped from beating by injecting a cold solution. Your doctor will harvest a piece of blood vessel from the leg to construct a bypass by sewing one end of the harvested vein graft to a small opening made in the aorta (the largest artery in the body), and the other end of the vein to an opening made in the coronary artery just below the block. After the bypass graft is established, blood flow through the bypass machine is disconnected and circulation will be restarted through the heart. The tubes to the machine are removed and a pacemaker (a small device to help control abnormal heart rhythm) may be attached initially, during the recovery period.
Risks and Complications of On-pump Coronary Artery Bypass Graft
Like all surgical procedures, on-pump CABG may involve complications which include bleeding, stroke, kidney, or liver failure.