This is the most common kind of heart surgery. You may also hear
it called coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CAGB), coronary
artery bypass (CAB), coronary bypass, or bypass surgery.
The surgery involves sewing a section of vein from the leg or
arteries from the chest or another part of the body to bypass a
part of a diseased coronary artery. This creates a new route for
blood to flow, so that the heart muscle will get the oxygen-rich
blood it needs to work properly.
During bypass surgery, the breastbone (sternum) is divided, the
heart is stopped, and blood is sent through a heart-lung machine.
Unlike other kinds of heart surgery, the chambers of the heart are
not opened during bypass surgery.
When you hear the words single bypass, double bypass, triple
bypass or quadruple bypass, it refers to the number of arteries
that are bypassed. The number of bypasses does not necessarily
indicate how severe the heart condition is.