Depending on the patient, around 2% risk of death. In some, it may be higher, particularly the elderly if they are having other heart procedures, for example, a valve replacement too. The risks are higher in patients who have had a heart attack within two months; this is why the operation should be postponed if possible. A freshly damaged heart muscle is soft and electrically irritable and may tear and go into dangerous rhythms. The risk of heart bypass increases in older patients, those with lung, kidney, or liver damage. The risks of stroke are higher in the elderly and in those who have narrowing in their neck or brain arteries, or who have fat deposits in their aorta, or a calcified, hard aorta.
The veins are taken from the lower part of the legs, usually the left leg. This may occasionally cause an infection in the skin. The leg from where the vein is taken usually has a tendency to be slightly swollen.
Most surgeons still cut the breastbone with an electric saw. Occasionally, the breastbone does not knit together, which can give problems and pain. If the breastbone does not knit together, then another operation to fix it may be necessary.
There is a risk of stroke and loss of memory after the bypass. Usually this is not severe and most patients recover completely. Most people are able to get back to full activities and end up fitter and have a healthier lifestyle after their bypass.
Was this article helpful?
Your heart pumps blood throughout your body using a network of tubing called arteries and capillaries which return the blood back to your heart via your veins. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart beats.Learn more...