Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG)
Heart surgeons in the nationally ranked Duke Heart Center have vast experience performing heart bypass for coronary artery disease. To date, our surgeons have performed more than 20,000 heart bypass surgeries, which restores blood flow to blocked arteries using blood vessels taken from your arm, leg or chest. We use a range of techniques -- from minimally invasive options to complex surgical approaches -- which lets us offer heart bypass surgery to more people with coronary artery disease, including patients at high risk and with complex conditions. Our excellent survival rates and low complication rates give you the best opportunity for a successful outcome.
Experts in heart bypass surgery
Heart bypass surgery, also known as coronary artery bypass grafting or CABG, is the most common type of open heart surgery performed to treat coronary artery disease. It may be necessary if your arteries have become blocked or damaged to the point where they can no longer adequately supply blood and oxygen to your heart. The blocked vein is "bypassed" using a blood vessel taken during the surgery from another part of your body.
Our surgeons have vast experience performing heart bypass surgery using a variety of techniques that minimize the need for a large open incision, and may or may not require the use of a heart-lung machine, which takes over your heart's function during the surgery. We use small incisions to access the blood vessels needed to bypass the blocked artery, which means you experience less blood loss, scarring, and a faster recovery. Our goal is to return you to your optimal heart health as soon as possible.
Choose Duke Heart Center for your heart bypass surgery because we offer:
- Nationally ranked program. U.S. News and World Report ranks Duke Heart Center 5th in the nation, based on our patients’ survival rates, the number of procedures we perform and the quality of our support services.
- Minimally invasive vein harvesting. Whenever possible, we use small incisions to reach veins in your chest, legs, or arms, that are needed to bypass blocked arteries and blood vessels. As a result, you experience less pain and scarring.
- More options for coronary artery disease surgery. Our surgical team is skilled in the latest CABG approaches, including minimally invasive techniques using robotic tools, and combining heart bypass with other procedures. We offer solutions to people with coronary artery disease who may have run out of options elsewhere.
- Better outcomes. Our surgeons have earned a 3-star rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons for our heart bypass surgery results, which places us among the nation’s top performing adult cardiac surgery programs. Our excellent survival rates, low complication rates and use of treatment guidelines give you the best opportunity for a successful outcome.
- Support for recovery. Our cardiac prevention and rehabilitation program gives you access to nutrition counseling, exercise instruction, stress management, smoking cessation programs and more. We help you recover from surgery and establish lasting lifestyle changes to help you manage coronary artery disease.
HEART BYPASS SURGERY
The standard approach to heart bypass involves a chest incision and the use of a heart-lung bypass machine -- pump -- which stills the heart during the procedure while maintaining blood flow through the body. Our specialists constantly manage the life support devices during surgery to ensure optimal safety.
When appropriate, heart bypass surgery may be performed without a heart-lung bypass machine. Your surgeon may choose this technique if you are at high risk or if you have other health conditions.
Your surgeon may access your heart through small incisions, rather than the large chest incision typically associated with open heart surgery. The small incisions are made between the ribs and special surgical instruments are used to complete the bypass. Surgeons may also use robotic tools, which enhance visualization, maneuverability and surgical precision. Minimally invasive procedures may be performed on-pump or off-pump. They are typically associated with less scarring, less blood loss and a faster recovery.
Surgeons may work with cardiologists in our hybrid operating room to perform heart bypass surgery and and another procedure, such as angioplasty, to open blocked arteries. This approach combines the treatment benefits of both open and interventional procedures and shortens your procedure time as well as the length of your hospital stay.