top of page

Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG)


Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting Surgery (CABG) is mostly recommended for patients who have significant Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). CABG surgery is more commonly known as bypass surgery. Patients selected for CABG surgery show considerable narrowing and blockages of the heart arteries.

CAD occurs as a result of the hardening of the arteries. This hardening takes place when plaque builds up in the walls of the arteries. This plaque is mostly made up of cholesterol.

Plaque build up can be accelerated due to:

  • Diabetes

  • High Blood Pressure levels and

  • High Cholesterol levels

  • Smoking

  • Being overweight

  • Lack of exercise

  • Age (over 45 for men and over 55 for women)

  • A positive family history of Heart Disease

When the coronary arteries narrow because of the build up of plaque, the blood supply is not sufficient to meet the increased oxygen demands during exercise. If the heart muscles in the vicinity of those arteries do not get the required amounts of oxygen, they can die. Patients may then experience heart pains, a condition known as angina (when blood oxygen supply cannot meet the demand). If a blood clot forms at the top of the plaque and completely blocks off all blood flow, the patient then experiences myocardial infarction, which is commonly known as a heart attack.

About the procedure
The cardiac surgeon performs CABG surgery. CABG surgery restores normal blood flow to the muscles in the heart that were starved for oxygen. A suitable artery or vein is taken from the arm, leg or chest of the patient. The removal of the vessel does not jeopardise blood flow to any other part of the body. Each patient is different so the doctor will make the best selection depending on your anatomical make up. The replacement vessel is called a graft.

The chosen artery or vein will be used to reroute the oxygenated blood around the blockage in the coronary artery hence allowing the blood supply to flow unhindered.

CABG surgery is usually performed in patients with:

  • CAD in multiple vessels (arteries and veins)

  • A blocked left main coronary artery

  • Improperly functioning main pumping chamber

  • Severe chest pains (angina)

bottom of page