Imagine a road blocked by construction or an accident. Traffic can use a detour with an alternative road. Bypass surgery, also known as coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), creates detours around arteries blocked by plaques, which are a severe fatty deposit. In bypass surgery, heart surgeons open the chest and use arteries and veins (usually from legs) as new "roads" to redirect blood flow around blocked arteries to its final destination in the heart.
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American Heart Association answered
Coronary artery bypass graft, often referred to by its initials CABG or as coronary bypass surgery or simply bypass surgery, is a surgical procedure used to reroute the blood supply around a blocked section of a coronary artery. Surgeons remove healthy blood vessels from another part of the body, such as a leg or the chest wall. Then they surgically attach the vessels to the diseased artery to let the blood flow around the blocked section.
While every type of surgery carries some risks, it is important to note cardiac bypass surgery has been well-studied and heart surgeons receive years of specialized training. Bypass surgery is only performed on serious, life-threatening disease, in response to emergency symptoms, such as shortness of breath, chest pain (angina) or discomfort in the arms, neck or jaw, and when imaging tests confirm the presence of dangerously blocked arteries.
More than 95 percent of people who undergo bypass surgery do not experience serious complications. For patients with advanced heart disease, it is more dangerous not to undergo bypass surgery if doctors have recommended it to restore blood flow. This is because the disease that blocked the vessels is progressive and will get worse, likely leading to blockages so substantial they starve the heart of oxygen and can cause disability or death.