Coronary bypass surgery, also known as coronary artery bypass graft surgery, and colloquially heart bypass or bypass surgery, is a surgical procedure to restore normal blood flow to an obstructed coronary artery.
Coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) is a procedure used to treat coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the buildup of plaque in the arteries that supply oxygen-rich blood to your heart. Plaque causes a narrowing or blockage that could result in a heart attack. CAD is caused by a build-up of fatty material within the walls of the arteries. This build-up narrows the inside of the arteries, limiting the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle.
One way to treat the blocked or narrowed arteries is to bypass the blocked portion of the coronary artery with a piece of a healthy blood vessel from elsewhere in your body. Blood vessels, or grafts, used for the bypass procedure may be pieces of a vein from your leg or an artery in your chest and sometimes an artery from your wrist may be used. Your doctor attaches one end of the graft above the blockage and the other end below the blockage. Blood bypasses the blockage by going through the new graft to reach the heart muscle. This is called coronary artery bypass surgery.