What is Coronary Artery Bypass Graft surgery (CABG)?

Depending on a patient’s condition, physicians may recommend either traditional open-heart surgery or a more minimally-invasive option. Our surgical team specializes in all of these life-saving procedures.

Traditional open-heart surgery: This is the safest and effective procedure for patients with multiple blockages in several arteries. During this procedure, the breastbone is separated, the heart is stopped, and a heart-lung bypass machine oxygenates your blood while surgeons work to connect new, healthy blood vessels (called grafts), allowing blood to flow around the blockages.

Minimally-invasive heart surgery: For patients with fewer blockages, surgeons may be able to spare the breastbone by making small incisions between the ribs or just under the breastbone. They also may be able operate on a beating heart. This reduces a patient’s recovery time and pain. The region’s only surgical team experienced in this procedure operates right here at the Lourdes Cardiovascular Institute.

Robotically-assisted bypass surgery: During this minimally-invasive surgery, a high-definition camera and instruments are inserted through tiny incisions and guided to the blocked artery. Robotic surgery reduces a patient’s risk of scarring and infection. Patients who undergo robotic surgery also generally have a shorter hospital stay and a faster recovery than do patients who undergo traditional open-heart surgery.

“I have a second chance.”
Robotic surgery restored blood flow to Tom Sherry's heart, saving his life.
Bypass Basics

  • Healthy blood vessels (called grafts) are harvested from the leg or chest
  • The new blood vessels are attached to arteries near the heart
  • Blood flows through the new blood vessels, bypassing the blockages
Advanced Surgical Options

  • By operating through tiny incisions in the chest, surgeons may be able to avoid separating the breastbone. This is referred to as “sternal sparing” surgery.
  • Depending on a patient’s condition, a surgeon may also be able to perform the procedure while the heart is still beating.
  • Robotic heart surgery offers even more control and precision.
Why Choose the Lourdes Cardiovascular Institute?

  • We specialize in traditional approaches as well as in the most advanced options.
  • The most highly trained cardiothoracic surgeons in the nation practice medicine right here at Lourdes Cardiovascular Institute.
  • We offer the most advanced technology, including robotic heart surgery

Which procedure is best?

The answer to that question depends on the patient’s condition. Depending on the number and locations of a patient’s coronary blockages, one type of surgery may benefit a patient more than another. For example, if a patient needs just one or two bypass grafts in their heart’s main artery, minimally invasive surgery offers more precision, for a faster recovery. On the other hand, if a patient has more blockages in several different arteries, an open-heart technique allows surgeons to access arteries more easily.