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Health Tip: What Happens During Coronary Bypass Surgery?

When blood flow to the heart is restored
Diana Kohnle

(HealthDay News) - When arteries become blocked by fat, cholesterol & other substances, blood flow to the heart is blocked.

Coronary bypass surgery sidesteps the blockage from these substances - collectively called plaque - & restores blood flow to lessen a person's risk of heart attack.

Here's are 2 possible ways to accomplish a coronary bypass, courtesy of the American Heart Association:

  • An artery is detached from the chest wall & the loose end attached to the coronary artery below the blockage.
  • A section of a long vein in the leg is removed & sewn (grafted) onto the large vessel that leaves the heart called the aorta. The other end is attached to the coronary artery below the blockage.

Either of these methods will allow blood to follow a new path, bypass the clogged portion of an artery & restore a free flow to the heart.

msnbc offers a great interactive tool titled: Anatomy of a Heart Attack!   click here to go there now!

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