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Coronary artery surgery

Coronary artery surgery is a surgical procedure performed to reduce the risk of fatal consequences from coronary artery disease. The procedure restores blood flow to the heart muscle by diverting the flow of blood around a section of a blocked artery in the heart. After the surgery, blood flow to the heart is improved. Basically, there are two main methods that are usually followed -

  • Angioplasty and stenting - During angioplasty the surgeon inserts a long, thin tube (catheter) into the narrowed part of your artery. A wire with a tiny, deflated balloon is passed through the catheter to the narrowed area. The balloon is inflated to widen the artery, and then a small wire mesh coil (stent) is usually inserted to keep the artery open. Some stents slowly release medication to help keep the artery open. This procedure improves blood flow in your heart, reducing or eliminating angina.
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery - During this procedure, a surgeon creates a graft to bypass blocked coronary arteries using a vessel from another part of your body. This allows blood to flow around the blocked or narrowed coronary artery. Because this requires open-heart surgery, it's typically reserved for cases of multiple narrowed coronary arteries.

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