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Coronary Bypass Surgery (CABG) at UPMC in Central Pa.

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute is a leader in innovative techniques for coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, one of the most commonly performed surgeries in the United States.

Why choose UPMC in Central Pa. for CABG surgery?

There are several methods surgeons use to perform CABG surgery, and the surgeons at UPMC in Central Pa. will recommend the best option for your specific condition.

In addition to having extensive experience performing traditional open-chest CABG procedures that require the use of a heart-lung bypass machine, the surgeons at PHCVI also perform CABG surgery using the most advanced, minimally invasive techniques. Minimally invasive techniques offer benefits, including:

  • Smaller incisions
  • Fewer side effects
  • Fewer complications
  • Less pain
  • A reduced risk of infection
  • A faster recovery

Minimally Invasive Techniques for CABG Surgery

  • "Off-pump" surgery. "Off-pump" surgery, also known as beating-heart surgery, requires specialized technology to stabilize areas of your beating heart and does not require you to be on a heart-lung bypass machine. "Off-pump" surgery is not for everyone, but it may be suitable if you are at high risk of complications from using the heart-lung bypass machine.
  • Robotically assisted surgery. Robotically assisted surgery is performed with the da Vinci ® Surgical System. This state-of-the-art technology allows your surgeon to gain access to your heart using several small incisions instead of a large chest incision. It also enables your surgeon to have better visualization and greater precision while performing the procedure. Your surgeon operates the robot from a console equipped with sensitive controls. The robotic arms are very agile and work as an extension of your surgeon's hands.
  • Keyhole surgery. Keyhole surgery uses several small incisions rather than an open-chest approach.

Minimally Invasive Vein and Artery Harvesting for CABG Surgery

To reduce your risk of complications, our surgeons also use the latest minimally invasive techniques to harvest the veins or arteries that are used to bypass your heart blockage.

During a procedure called endoscopic vein harvesting or endoscopic radial artery harvesting, your surgeon will use an endoscope (a thin surgical tube with a light and camera on the end) to locate blood vessels that will be used to bypass your blocked coronary arteries.

Traditional (open) approaches involve making long surgical incisions down the inner thigh and/or calf. Research comparing traditional approaches with endoscopic methods indicates that patients generally have fewer complications, less leg pain, and shorter hospital stays with the endoscopic harvesting methods.

Need more information?

Call UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute at: 717-731-0101.

What is CABG surgery?

Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, also called bypass surgery or heart bypass, is one of the most common surgical procedures performed in the United States.

CABG surgery is often recommended for patients who have a blockage or a significant narrowing of the heart arteries caused by coronary artery disease. During the procedure, your surgeon will create a new pathway that "bypasses" the blocked artery and improves blood to flow to your heart.

What happens during CABG surgery?

During your CABG procedure, you will be under general anesthesia. Your surgeon will graft a healthy artery from your chest (mammary artery) or a vein from your leg (saphenous vein) onto your blocked artery, providing a way to reroute your blood flow to bypass your blocked artery.

Veins are generally harvested from the inner thigh and calf areas of your legs, while the radial artery is harvested from your wrist. Your procedure will vary depending on the CABG surgery and vein-harvesting approach your surgeon uses.

What can I expect after CABG surgery?

When your CABG surgery is complete, you will be moved to recovery and then admitted to the hospital. The length of your hospital stay will vary depending on your specific situation.

How long does it take to recover after CABG surgery?

Your recovery after CABG surgery depends on the approach your doctor used, your overall health, and other factors. Your doctor will let you know when you can return to work or resume other everyday activities. You should be sure to follow your doctor's instructions after your procedure and attend all follow-up appointments.


Need more information?

Phone: 717-731-0101

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