CABG surgery is the most common surgical procedure for treating coronary artery disease. In this surgery, a vein or artery from another part of the body is used to create a new path for blood to flow to the heart, bypassing the blocked artery. Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of all adult non-maternal admissions to California hospitals, representing nearly 9% of all admissions. It is a chronic condition in which cholesterol and fat solidify to form plaque along the linings of the coronary arteries. If plaque continues to build up, blood vessels can be restricted or blocked leading to chest pain or a heart attack.
CABG surgery involves bypassing the blocked coronary arteries with a blood vessel graft. These grafts are usually taken from patients own arteries and veins located in the chest (thoracic), leg (saphenous) or arm (radial). The graft goes around the blocked artery (or arteries) to create new pathways for oxygen-rich blood to flow to the heart.