Coronary artery bypass
Coronary artery bypass graft surgery is a procedure used to correct severe coronary artery obstruction. Veins and arteries from other parts of the body are grafted onto the diseased coronary artery both above and below the blockage. Saphenous vein grafts from the leg, radial artery grafts from the forearm, left or right internal mammary artery may be used as grafts
The upper segment of the vein graft is sutured into the aorta and the lower segment is sutured beyond the blockage onto the coronary artery itself. When arteries (most commonly from the thoracic cavity) are used, the upper segment remains in its place of origin and the lower end of the artery is sutured beyond the blockage on the obstructed coronary artery. Therefore, blood flow "by-passes" the obstructed area of the coronary artery entirely by being rerouted through the added "graft."
Often with severe coronary artery disease, more than one coronary artery is grafted. The terms double bypass, triple bypass and quadruple bypass indicate how many grafts are necessary. These grafts restore blood circulation to the areas of the heart that have been deprived of oxygenated blood flow.