Heart Bypass Surgery

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.

After battling heart disease for more than two decades, Jim Whitaker underwent bypass surgery to repair and replace all of his diseased arteries. "My quality of life went from 20 to 100 percent," he said.

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.

Surgical options

Ready for an appointment?
- call us at -