How serious is bypass surgery on a persons heart?

My mom is getting surgery next Monday and they are doing a bypass on her. Single bypass is all I know. 80% blockage on one side and 60% blockage on the other. Has someone you loved ever had it done and what should I expect? Any help would be wonderfully appreciated. Thank you in advance.

13 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Hello Ridley

    Bypass surgery for sure is serious but commonplace. The teams that perform the CABG (cabbage) are pros.

    I myself had a quadruple bypass 14 months ago, it was the only serious thing that ever happened to me as far as health goes. All the answers befor me are great and cover all the bases.

    I will add that you Mom will be very weak after the surgery and probably will suffer some anxiety (such as I did) but with steady short walks and increasing as fast as you can the distance she walks she will recover nicely. After a few weeks she will need to start cardiac therapy , which is absolutely wonderful and needed.

    I did 36 sessions of therapy ( 3 times a week for 12 weeks ) , by the time it was over I was feeling very strong and healthy again but still had some incisional pain. By this time your Mom should be in fairly good shape and probably over her anxiety also.

    Its very very important to continue to do cardiac exersizes continuosly from that point on. I think The YMCA is a wonderful place to continue her new health program.

    Also she must change her diet to a heart healthy diet or all will be lost anyway and she must stick with it even when she is feeling very good again. Once we start feeling good we seem to think its ok to revert back to our old eating habits.

    Im sure with the support she gets from you and the rest of your family and friends she will be fine.

    Just a note,,,it takes up to and some times a full year to recover from bypass surgery. Its been 14 months for me and I am finally at about 95 % of where I was.

    Just be strong for your Mom


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  • 1 decade ago

    CABG (coronary artery bypass surgery) is pretty serious. Ask where they're getting the vein from - if it's the great saphenous she'll have a cut on her leg too. More recently surgeons have been favoring taking the internal mammary artery (known as either a LIMA or RIMA, for left and right, respectively). Each site has a plus and a minus.

    Make sure you ask lots of questions and are sure you know what's going on. You have a right to know, and it's important that you understand.

    As for recovery, your mother will be tired for a long time, at least up to the next 6 months. Cardiac surgeries tend to be followed by a long period of anemia. No one knows why, but it will keep her tired. Make sure you follow the doctor's directions on exercise. It's very important to keep clots from forming in her legs (that can travel to other places in the body and cause lots of problems, like a heart attack or stroke), but it will also help prevent pneumonia and other respiratory problems (something called atelectasis). Tell her hug a pillow to her chest when she coughs -- it will help with the pain. As soon as she can, get her up and walking. It doesn't have to be a lot, just to the end of the hallway and back. The most important thing is for you to be supportive, get her moving, and expect a LOT of tiredness.

    Good luck and good health!

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  • 1 decade ago

    It's very serious. In fact, it's about the most serious surgery done. Any time that stopping the heart is part of the procedure, that's serious.

    The good news is that the folks who do this surgery (the surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists, etc) do this every day and they're quite good at it. Most of them don't do other types of surgery.

    Your mom has a long, hard road ahead of her, but it will all work out for the best. Beats a heart attack. She'll probably be on a ventilator overnight, and have a lot of tubes (breathing tube, chest tubes, bladder catheter, iv's, arterial line). As she gets better, the tubes come out. After a few days, she'll move out of the ICU and into a regular room (more visiting time for you) and when everything looks good, she'll go home. She will have some cardiac rehab and it may take weeks until she's able to get around well.

    Good luck to you both. Trust your surgical team. They know what they're doing.

    Source(s): I'm an anesthesiologist.
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  • 1 decade ago

    My husband had this surgery on Oct. 26. He is doing fine now. He had a triple bypass. He was in the hospital 5 days, 2 days in intensive care and then in the step down unit.

    You Mom will be on lots of machines when you see her the first, don't let this upset you too much. She won't know or remember too much for a day or so, they will keep her medicated so she is pain free. The 2nd day, they will get her up and walking, she will have chest tubes and I think they were removed the 2nd day or soon after.

    You must remember, everyone is different, my husband is 68 yrs old and has copd (breathing problems) and he did great.

    He is in rehab now and getting back to normal

    I probably didn't answer all the questions you have, but just try not to worry too much. With God's guidence and the Doctors knowledge, I'm sure she will do fine.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I don't want to frighten you but "coronary bypass surgery" is a very serious operation that involves stopping the heart and lungs while removing the clogged arteries.The person that is having the surgery is kept alive by a heart/lung machine that acts as their heart and lungs during the surgery.Usually the breastbone is cut in half to access the heart and lungs during the surgery and they usually wrap it in a surgical steel mesh after they are done.The clogged arteries are usually replaced by veins that they take from the legs.When you see your mom right after the surgery she will probably have her mouth filled to the stretching point with a variety of devices and she may not be able to talk or respond to you but do not worry all of those devices will be removed whitin a short time after the operation and she will probably have a sore throat for a few days but that will go away and if the operation goes well and your mom follows the doctors orders about eating,smoking or drinking (IF SHE DOES THOSE THINGS) she will live to a ripe old age.

    Source(s): My dad had quadruple bypass surgery a few years ago
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  • 1 decade ago

    About as serious as it gets. I mean a heartbeat is the second most important thing to life, only to breathing. However, bypass surgeries are done very frequently these days and with great success. If you've been faced with the option of chosing to do one or live without it, I would DEFINATELY chose to have the surgery.

    Sure there are risks, but if a person needs a bypass and doesn't have it done, they WILL eventually have a heart attack

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  • 1 decade ago

    Any blocked artery leading to the heart is dangerous. But your mother should recover and lead a normal life. She will have a drastic change in her diet. She must follow that change for the rest of her life. Period. She will have drainage tubes in her chest after the surgery and she will have the long scar down the center of her chest, which will be somewhat swollen for a time, there will be soreness there and she should hug a pillow whenever rising off a flat surface, like a sofa or bed, or when standing after sitting for a period of time. This is to reduce strain and pain on the incision. Patients heal rapidly and the scar will fade to a simple fine line in time. After her surgery, she may actually end up back in surgery again, to suction out drainage fluids, this sometimes happens and is not unusual. Do not panic if they have to open her back up to check drainage tubes. She will have tubes in for a short time, then they will be removed. When she is able, go with mom for short walks in the hospital halls, she will probably have to hug a pillow on these walks, and take your arm, go slowly, she will regain her strength, but not in the hospital, it will take time. They will remove a section of vein from one of her legs and will use that to bypass the clogged section of artery, creating a new passageway for blood to the heart. Most patients complain that the scar and incision in the leg is far more painful than the one in their chest! Follow her doctor's instructions to the letter. Good luck to you both.

    Source(s): Close family member had a quintuple bypass.
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  • 1 decade ago

    The bypass is not as serious as the alternative! The bypass simply reroutes the blood to good/clear arteries relieving the extra workload placed on the heart by trying to pump thru restricted/clogged passages. A positive outlook from you will be the best help to your mothers recovery.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It's a major surgery for sure. Odds are very very good that everything will be fine. Women, however, on the down side, do not fair as well as men.

    She will look worse than she really is when you first see her after the surgery. Be ready for that. I almost fell out when I saw my mother, - wasn't ready for it.

    I saw my father go through it but was better prepared.

    I went through it myself and it's a whole lot better to watch than to receive.

    From my experience, I would say one of the best most thoughtful things you can do during her recovery is things like putting a cool towel on her forehead and be there for her. Yes, it hurts but more than that - it's scary. Sort of like a rocket sled ride.

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  • Lynn K
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    I've had several friends who have had this surgery. Yes it is a serious surgery even though it is common place in today's world. The surgeons are very skilled and in 90% of cases the patient is ready to go home within days. But any surgery has risk and some people die.

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