CABG stands for Coronary Artery Bypass Graft, which is a surgical procedure to treat coronary heart disease. This procedure is carried out specifically for those who experience a serious artery blockage or narrowing.

The CABG procedure can be simply described as creating a new route around a narrowed or blocked artery. This new route is needed so that blood flow remains smooth so that the heart muscle continues to get enough oxygen and nutrients.

Know the Meaning of the CABG Procedure

Why Does Someone Need CABG?

The heart organ works endlessly in pumping blood throughout the body. Blood supply throughout the body is channeled through arteries. Unfortunately, as time goes by and a person ages, the performance of arteries in doing their job will decrease.

Atherosclerosis will appear when the arteries experience hardening and narrowing caused by the presence of cholesterol plaque that has accumulated on the walls, so that blood flow decreases. This condition is known as coronary heart disease. Smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and old age are examples of factors that accelerate the formation of atherosclerotic plaque.

Coronary heart disease can then cause complications in the form of angina, or what is commonly referred to as sitting wind. Angina is chest pain due to a limited supply of oxygen-rich blood. If it is severe, then the CABG procedure can be one solution.

In addition, coronary heart disease can also cause the release of atherosclerotic plaque which can cause blockages. This blockage impedes blood supply to the heart, causing a heart attack. To avoid this, doctors will usually recommend the CABG procedure.

Inspection Before Performing the CABG Procedure

However, patients do not necessarily get therapy directly through CABG. To determine whether or not to undergo CABG, the patient must pass the following examinations.

  • Physical examination

  • The heart, lungs and pulse will be examined to determine whether the CABG is appropriate. The doctor will also ask about how often, how long, and how severe the symptoms associated with the illness has been ongoing. Symptoms associated with coronary heart disease itself are usually in the form of chest pain and difficulty breathing. The doctor will also ascertain which part of the artery has a blockage, how severe the blockage is happening and whether the patient has other types of heart damage.

  • ECG (Electrocardiogram)

  • This examination will show how strong the heart beats and regularity of the rhythm, whether stable or not. An EKG is a simple examination that shows the electrical activity of the heart. Through ECG examination, it will be known how fast the time taken by electricity when exploring each part of the heart. Signs of a heart attack before and when it occurs, can be seen through the ECG. Especially for patients with coronary heart disease (CHD), an EKG can also be used to check if there is damage to the heart.

  • Cardiac exercise test (cardiac stress test)

  • In a heart training test, the patient will be told to run to make the heart work hard and beat fast, while at the same time a heart record (ECG) test is performed. Patients who cannot run are likely to be given drugs that can increase their heart rate. Why should they have a heart test like this? Because heart problems are easier to diagnose when working hard and beating faster.

  • Echocardiography

  • Through this test, the doctor can find out the size and shape of the patient’s heart, including the condition of the chambers and valves. The way this tool works is to utilize sound waves to produce moving images of the heart. Echocardiography can also map areas of poor blood flow to the heart, which heart muscle is abnormal, or injury to the heart muscle caused by poor blood flow in the past Signs of CHD can also be investigated through stress echocardiogram tests. This type of test is one type of echocardiogram test. The goal is to determine the level of decreased blood flow to the heart when the body is active.

  • Coronary angiography and cardiac catheterization

  • Coronary angiography is a test that uses special coloring and X-rays to show the inside of the heart’s blood vessels. To insert the dye into a vein, the doctor will use a procedure called cardiac catheterization. This procedure is done to help doctors find a blockage that can cause a heart attack.

What is the CABG Process?

CABG procedures in hospitals generally take 3-6 hours. The duration of surgery depends on how many blood vessels are grafted to replace the function of the narrowed blood vessels. Making alternative routes to drain blood can use blood vessels from the legs (saphena veins), chest (internal mammary arteries) or arms (radial arteries).

After the grafted blood vessels are removed, the doctor will make an incision in the sternum to reach the heart. When pairing a blood vessel graft, the heart will be stopped from pumping for a while.

While this is happening, the heart’s function to pump blood to other parts of the body will be replaced by a machine outside the body. Thus, other organs such as the brain, kidneys, and the whole body will continue to receive oxygen as long as blood flow to the heart is repaired.

Shortly after the blood flow to the heart has been improved, the patient’s heart is given a controlled electric shock so that the pumping returns. At the end of the procedure, the sternum will be reattached with wire and the skin is stitched with thread.

Generally, patients who undergo a CABG procedure require up to one week of hospitalization. The healing period for this operation usually ranges from six weeks to two months. For optimal healing, it is important to improve a healthier lifestyle.

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