Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG)

If you have plaque build-up in the wall of the arteries that supply the heart with blood (coronary artery disease), you may at some point require surgery to bypass the clogged vessels in your heart so that it can receive the oxygen it needs to function.

Surgical Expertise for Coronary Bypass

The Cooper Heart Institute has a renowned team of cardiothoracic surgeons who offer world class care and have extensive experience performing coronary artery bypass graft (CABG).  Cooper has received a "3 star" rating for CABG surgery from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, placing it among the top 6 percent of hospitals nationally with similar programs. The ranking was based on our excellent surgical outcomes.

Coronary artery bypass graft is surgery to create new routes around narrowed and blocked blood vessels (arteries) in order to allow sufficient blood flow to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the heart. During CABG, a healthy blood vessel (artery or vein) from the body is connected (grafted) to a blocked coronary artery. The grafted artery or vein goes around (bypasses) the blocked portion, creating a new passage for blood to flow.

Understanding the Procedure

During traditional CABG surgery, the surgeon makes a large cut (incision) down the center of the chest. Then part or all of the breast bone (sternum) is divided, the heart is cooled and stopped, and blood is sent through a heart-lung machine to keep it pumping and oxygenated.   In some cases, the heart isn't stopped, and a heart-lung machine isn't used (off-pump CABG). The procedure may also be done minimally invasively using several small incisions on the chest.

An artery or vein is taken from the person’s body, such as the leg, or arteries from chest wall or arm, and prepared to be used as a graft for the bypass. One end of the graft is then sewn to the coronary artery beyond the narrowing or blockage and the other end is attached to the largest artery in the body (aorta). After the grafting is done, blood flow to the heart is restored and the surgeon may use wires, if necessary, to close the chest bone. The wires stay in the body permanently.

For an appointment with a Cooper cardiac surgeon, please call 1.880.8.COOPER (1.800.826.6737).