Lima Memorial Health System Logo
Approximate ER WAIT TIME

Health Library

Heart bypass surgery
Site Map

Heart bypass surgery

Heart bypass surgery creates a new route, called a bypass, for blood and oxygen to reach the heart.

Heart bypass surgery begins with an incision in the chest, and the breastbone is cut exposing the heart. Next, a portion of the saphenous vein, which is very large, is harvested from the inside of the leg. Pieces of this large vein are used to bypass the blocked coronary arteries, which are arteries that supply blood to the heart. The venous graft is sewn to the aorta, the main artery of the body, and to the affected coronary artery, to bypass the blocked site.

The internal mammary artery from the chest may also be used to bypass a clogged artery.

Several arteries may be bypassed depending on the condition of the heart. After the graft is created, the breastbone and chest are closed.


Review Date: 1/10/2022  

Reviewed By: Mary C. Mancini, MD, PhD, Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Shreveport, LA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

ADAM Quality Logo

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, for Health Content Provider ( URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2022 A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.