What is a Triple Bypass Surgery?

triple bypass surgery

A triple bypass surgery is a surgical procedure that is done to improve the circulation of blood to the heart. A bypass surgery may also be called coronary bypass surgery which is usually recommended to reduce chest pain. It is called triple bypass since there are three grafts done to improve the blood flow to the heart.

The main reason for doing a triple bypass surgery is that the heart is a very important organ. It is a pump that distributes blood to different organs and tissues of the body. When blood vessels that supply the heart (coronary arteries) with blood constrict due to fat deposits and increased blood pressure, the heart struggles to do its work.  This leads to pain and may even lead to fatal attacks that can cause the heart to completely stop.

There are many ways to treat blockage of the coronary; the patient may be started on a diet that can help reduce cholesterol levels and blood pressure levels and his doctor may also prescribe medications to reduce blood pressure and possibly help reduce cholesterol levels as well. When the patient does not improve, his doctor may recommend undergoing a bypass or a coronary artery bypass graft.

A bypass is like building another network or passageway to avoid the area where there is blockage or plaque build-up. Usually, a healthy vein from your legs called the saphenous vein is harvested and used for the graft; the number of grafts may depend on the number of blockage that is present. And thus, patients who will undergo a triple bypass surgery has three grafts to be done however, a patient who has more than three may also be possible and may be called a quadruple bypass surgery. Usually a patient is scheduled for operation after a thorough diagnosis is made; diagnostic procedures like CT scans, imaging techniques and blood tests are done to ensure that the exact blood vessel is singled out for a bypass.

The triple bypass operation

A triple bypass operation is a major operation that will require a patient to be sedated for hours as the cardiac surgeon attaches a bypass graft to avoid the affected blood vessel. There are several ways that a bypass operation is done and the most common requires the surgeon to cut the patient’s breastbone to surgically treat the heart. The harvested vein from your leg will be attached by means of stitches or other efficient means. After the surgery, the breastbone is also repaired and finally there will be a long stitch that extends on the chest. You will also have a wound on the leg where the vein was harvested.

Prognosis of patients undergoing triple bypass surgery

Most that undergo this surgical procedure are out of bed in less than a week and may even return home as soon as he feels better. Most also feel better with no chest pains and other symptoms. The patient is usually advised to come back for follow up and for additional tests.