Everything You Need to Know About Coronary Bypass Surgery

DayToDay Health
November 30, 2021

The burden of cardiovascular disorders has been increasing globally, taking over 17 million lives every year. The most common heart disorders include arrhythmia, coronary artery disease, heart failure, and heart valve disease. Behavioral risk factors like unhealthy diet, alcohol and tobacco consumption, and inactivity contributes to the worsening numbers.

To counter and manage heart disorders, doctors perform procedures like coronary angioplasty, valve replacement, heart bypass surgery, pacemaker placement surgery, among others. According to a study published on NCBI, Coronary artery bypass surgery is one of the most common surgeries performed worldwide. In the USA alone, doctors perform over 200,000 heart bypass surgeries.

This article talks about Coronary bypass surgery, its indications, risks, benefits, and recovery. Let’s start with the basics.

What is bypass surgery?

A heart bypass surgery is a procedure that helps improve the blood flow and oxygen supply through the heart. In a bypass procedure, the surgeon takes a healthy blood vessel from a different part of the body and attaches it below and above the narrowed or a blocked portion, ultimately bypassing it.

Diverting the blood flow through coronary bypass surgery is a well-known treatment for atherosclerosis, causing coronary artery disease. One who is obese, smokes, has a high-fat diet, is susceptible to such a disease. While this procedure is invasive due to the open-heart technique, keyhole and robotic surgery are now introduced to reduce the invasiveness.

Are there any risks associated with heart bypass surgery?

Every surgery comes with its own set of risks. The risks of surgery can directly depend on factors like patient lifestyle, age of the patient, extent of disease, quality of doctor and hospital, as well as the care after surgery. Some coronary artery bypass surgery risks include -

1. Bleeding before or after the surgery

2. Respiratory issues

3. Blot clots that can dislodge and cause stroke or heart attacks

4. Pneumonia

5. Kidney failure

6. Infection near the sutures

7. Graft failure

Is there a list of foods to avoid after coronary bypass surgery?

Doctors advise a balanced diet after surgery. The patient may not feel like eating anything initially and may have a metallic taste in the mouth. This can be due to the medicines and surgery and will bypass in about three months. Till then, they can start with small portions of meals.

Sugary drinks, deep-fried food, and processed meat are some foods to avoid after bypass surgery. Doctors recommend limiting soft drinks and alcohol. Low-fat dairy is a better option to incorporate into the diet. Doctors also recommend limiting salt intake to avoid high blood pressure.

Doctors encourage consuming white meat, eggs, tofu, legumes, and nuts. Food items like fish high in omega-3 fat, whole grains, brown rice, rolled oats, quinoa, barley, rye, and fruits can improve and quicken the recovery process.

How is life after bypass surgery?

Life after bypass surgery includes what happens immediately after surgery and the changes one goes through at home after discharge. After surgery, the patient shifts to an ICU for observation. A team of doctors and nurses monitor the patient until they are stable and ready to move to a post-surgical unit. The hospital stay can be almost two weeks long.

Initially, the patient has a breathing machine and stomach tubes to help with respiration and diet. Once the patient is stable enough to breathe on their own, the doctor removes the tubes. The patient may feel some soreness in the chest, along with tenderness in the incision site. The doctor provides painkillers through IV to manage the discomfort.

Once the stomach tubes are out, the patient can start taking a liquid diet and gradually shift to solid food. Once the patient moves to the post-surgical unit, they can start getting out of bed and walking. At this time, the patient may also connect with digital services for post-surgical virtual care at home.

After discharge, the patient gets to go home. The doctor recommends avoiding any rigorous activities, driving, lifting heavy weights, and exerting in the first few weeks. The focus shifts to maintaining surgical site cleanliness and avoiding any adverse reactions.

Certain post-surgical care services help doctors monitor the patient and the surgical site remotely. Such services help patients get access to detailed information regarding their surgery, recovery process, access to doctors, dieticians, psychologists, as well as motivate patients to follow instructions and note their progress.

With time, the patient can fix an appointment and meet with their doctor for a thorough follow-up. The doctor examines the surgical site and overall progress, as well as adjusts medicines. According to the recovery, the doctor may recommend staying on or off the post-surgical care program. Complete recovery from heart bypass surgery may take up to three months.

Patients should contact their doctor directly if they experience unexplained fever, redness, swelling, and pus discharge from the surgical site, edema in legs, difficulty in breathing, numbness in limbs, and irregular heart rate.

For information on virtual post-surgical cardiac care services, connect with DayToDay Health at

Alexis den Boggende
Alexis den Boggende
Senior Content Writer
Olivia Casale
Olivia Casale
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Danny Biel
Danny Biel
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Driven Writer with a demonstrated history of working in the hospital & health care industry. Strong past in Applied Improvisation and Improvisation for entertainment. Skilled in Talent Management, Copywriting, Teaching, Curriculum Development, Editing, and Data Management. Strong media and communication professional with a Master of Education.
Prem Sharma
Prem Sharma
Christine Hsieh
Christine Hsieh
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My vision is to help transformative, indispensable inventions come into markets to make a difference in people's lives. I see this occurring through a continuously evolving practice of working at the intersection of empathetic design, cutting-edge technology, and business.
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