Why do I need coronary artery bypass grafts?
When performing an angiogram your cardiologist has seen narrowings in the coronary arteries which are causing your symptoms of angina or breathlessness.
Your cardiologist has decided that these narrows are not suitable for medical treatment alone or angioplasty (stents). This is usually because there are several narrowings in several arteries.
During surgery your cardiac surgeon will attach veins (usually taken from your legs) to the aorta (main blood vessel leaving the heart) or an artery (from your chest wall) to the artery with the disease after the narrowings. This allows blood flow to your heart muscle bypassing the diseased section of the artery.
How long do my bypass grafts last?
A coronary bypass will last a long time, although exacts times vary by patient.
If an artery is used as a bypass it will usually last longer than a vein bypass graft. Typically bypass operations last 10 years, with some patients requiring more than one bypass or may even require angioplasty (stents) as well.