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Coronary Artery Surgery Types

When it comes to Coronary Artery Surgery, there is both the traditional open surgical approach and less invasive approaches for the repair of the narrowing and/or blocking of the coronary arteries.  The decision for the right choice is a serious one involving you and your physician.  It is important to know your health baselines for other organs (colon health, brain health, etc.) and medical history, including any medications you are taking- and to convey this information to your cardiac surgeon before undergoing a procedure. This is because your cardiac surgeon and you may be able to take precautions before, during and after surgery to reduce the risk of complications.  The good news is that the treatment options for heart surgery have passed a test of time and are generally effective in the hands of a talented cardiac surgeon.   

Heart Bypass Surgery   

Heart Bypass Surgery or Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) is a very common medical procedure and is associated with a high success rate overall. During the procedure in which you will be comfortably asleep with the aid of general anesthesia, your cardiac surgeon will take a section of a healthy blood vessel usually from your leg, chest, or arm and connect it to your coronary artery slightly past the area of the blockage. CABG may be performed either by Beating Heart Surgery or Arrested Heart Surgery. In Beating Heart Surgery, the procedure is performed while the heart is still beating, wherein certain equipment is required to keep the heart beating. On the other hand, Arrested Heart Surgery is performed while the heart is temporarily stopped. A heart-lung machine is installed in the body and replaces the function of the heart in circulating the blood.

Coronary Balloon Angioplasty

The coronary balloon angioplasty involves the use of a tiny balloon to widen the circumference of the artery, allowing blood to flow at a normal or near-normal rate. This is a less invasive approach when compared to Heart Bypass Surgery, for those who qualify.


Stenting uses a device called “stent”. A stent is a tiny, expandable tube that is inserted inside the artery. Just like coronary balloon angioplasty, the stent will push back the blockage in order to restore the normal blood flow. This too, is a less invasive approach when compared to Heart Bypass Surgery, for those who qualify.

Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery (MICS) CABG

MICS CABG is a technique that is performed through a small incision in the rib. In some cases, the balloons and stents are used together in a single procedure.

It is important to recognize that medications and medical procedures are associated with benefits and risks that should be discussed with your physician. It is important to recognize that all information contained on this website cannot be considered to be specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. As always, you should consult with a physician regarding any medical condition. Your Health Access disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.