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Coronary artery bypass

Coronary artery bypass surgery is performed in order to bypass one or more blockages in the heart's arteries. The bypass increases blood flow to the heart muscle to relieve chest pain (angina) and improve heart function. A leg vein (saphenous vein), an artery from the chest (internal mammary artery), or an artery from your arm (radial artery) can be used for the bypass graft. The type of graft used depends on the number and location of the blockages.

When a leg vein is used, one end is sewn to the aorta and the other end to the heart artery below the level of the blockage. Using a leg vein may slightly change blood flow from that area of the leg but does not affect the ability to walk. The leg vein is taken through a one inch incision at the knee.

The surgery takes two to six hours depending on the number of bypasses necessary and usually requires a week-long hospital stay.

More information

University of Colorado Health Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery offers northern Colorado's most experienced physician team in this type of procedure.

For more information, we offer helpful resources with links to more detailed heart surgery information.

To learn more, please contact us 970.221.1000.


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