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Difference between open heart surgery and bypass surgery?


Coronary bypass surgery redirects the blood in the areas of a fully or partially blocked artery in the heart. In the process, the doctor takes a healthy artery from your arms, legs, or chest and then connects it above or below the non-functional one in the heart. As it creates a new pathway, the blood again starts to flow smoothly without any interruption.

However, this surgery is not the cure for blockages like coronary artery disease or atherosclerosis. But it can significantly reduce symptoms like shortness of breath and chest pain. For some patients, it can decrease their chances of dying and can improve heart conditions. According to an institution, coronary artery bypass grafting is the most commonly performed surgery in adults.

Under what conditions do you need the surgery?

There are around approximately 200,000 people who are operated on every year in the US through this surgery. It treats the artery disease signs, which generally arises when a waxy material called plaque grows inside your heart artery. As a result, it blocks your blood and oxygen from reaching the heart. You may need the surgery under the following conditions:

  • A blockage in the left main coronary artery prevents the blood from passing into the left ventricle.
  • You are suffering from severe chest pain due to a blockage in several arteries that supply blood.
  • You have gone through a procedure before, but it hasn’t worked, or your artery has narrowed down again.
  • A disease has developed inside your coronary arteries, compromising the left ventricle’s work, which is the main chamber that does all of the heart’s blood pumping.

Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of a heart attack. This disease can cause the blood to clot and block the blood flow. However, if you go through bypass surgery, it can boost your health again.

Difference between open heart surgery and heart bypass surgery

Heart bypass surgery is a type of open-heart surgery in which the doctors open up the chest through a minor cut to reach the heart. After making incisions, the doctors can perform the rest of the surgery in two forms: on-pump or off-pump.

In on-pump surgery, the surgeons use a heart-lung machine to stop your heart and perform the operation efficiently. The device will circulate the blood and help your body to breathe.

Whereas, in off-pump surgery, your heart beats throughout the process; also called ‘beating heart surgery. The process does not require a heart-lung machine.

But sometimes, the doctor can perform surgery without cutting the chest, which is known as closed heart surgery. The risk and side effects of these procedures depend on person-to-person. So it’s best to let the doctor decide which treatment will be best for you.

Read MoreWhat is open-heart surgery and Why is it used?

Have queries or concern ?

    How to take care of a patient after bypass surgery?

    After you have gone through the heart surgery, the first stage of recovery will last for about 6 to 8 weeks, and you have to remain at the hospital for proper care. However, after discharge, you will get a set of instructions that you need to follow for post-surgery care. It is essential to take care of the patient to prevent the surgery’s side effects and recover better. So you must follow the following points:

    Wound care

    Make sure the wound area is clean and dry all the time. Also, call the doctor when you notice any of the signs of infection mentioned below:

    • Fewer above 100 F
    • Redness or burning sensation around the cut
    • Excessive oozing or drainage of blood


    After 6 to 8 weeks, you will be able to do the household chores. However, the doctor will provide you with a guideline including:

    • Don’t carry, push or pull heavy objects.
    • Don’t stand in one position or place for more than 15 minutes.
    • Walk every day.
    • Don’t lift heavy objects that weigh greater than 10 pounds.
    • You can climb stairs unless told otherwise.
    • Do not drive unless the doctors permit you.
    • Always eat healthy food, avoid spicy or fried meals.
    • Try light meals.
    • Carry gentle exercises as mentioned by the doctor.


    CABG is one of the parts of open-heart surgery, which the doctors recommend if the patient is suffering from blocked heart arteries, which may cause a heart attack. It is a precaution to avoid the risk of death due to heart attack opted by many people around the globe.

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