Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery - Medical Negligence Solicitors


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Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery

If you have severe vessel disease in the heart or are having a heart attack or symptoms of heart blockage, you can have a coronary angioplasty, in which the coronary artery has a catheter inserted into it from a percutaneous insertion in the femoral artery. Alternatively, you can have a coronary artery bypass graft surgery. This is open heart surgery and is not without its risks.

Coronary artery bypass surgery restores blood flow to the heart muscle by bypassing diseased blood vessels and reconnecting the graft at a later site. It diverts flow around a blocked section of artery using a harvested vein or an artificial vein. It takes the vessel from your arm, leg, chest or abdomen and connects the diseased artery above and below its flow. The idea is to improve the flow in one or more coronary arteries.

There can be an improvement in heart related symptoms, including shortness of breath and chest pain, which are due to bad blood flow within the heart. Coronary artery bypass graft surgery can reduce these symptoms and can possibly prolong your life. You need to talk to your doctor about whether to have an open coronary artery bypass graft surgery or have a procedure such as angioplasty and stenting instead.

The reasons you might have a coronary artery bypass procedure include the following:

  • You have very severe chest pain that is found to be the result of narrowed arteries in the heart muscle so that the heart muscle is short of oxygen during light exercise or during rest. At times, you can have an angioplasty and stenting for these sorts of symptoms but if you have multiple diseased vessels or if the left anterior descending artery is severely damaged, you will need a grafting procedure.
  • If you are suffering from some degree of heart failure, you might not be a candidate for any other procedure than a coronary artery bypass graft surgery.
  • If the LAD is damaged, it does not respond well to a stenting procedure and this needs to be treated with a grafting procedure.
  • If you've previously had an angioplasty with stent placement and it has failed too soon, you will need to have an open coronary artery bypass surgery instead to bypass the artery.

Coronary bypass surgery may need to be performed on an emergency basis, such as when you have a heart attack, especially if you are not responding to medications or other emergency treatments. Coronary artery bypass surgery does not cure the underlying condition of having atherosclerosis. You still need to partake of exercise, dietary, and other lifestyle changes so as to slow the advance of atherosclerosis. This needs to take place even if you have a bypass procedure. You will need certain medications after a bypass procedure to lower cholesterol, reduce blood sugar, thin the blood, etc.

Coronary artery bypass graft surgery is a risky type of procedure and you can have many complications during the procedure or after the procedure has apparently become successful. Some of these complications include the following:

  • Bleeding at the site of the re-anastomosis (of the coronary arteries).
  • Irregularities of the heart rhythm, which can be temporary or permanent.
  • Infections of the wound in the chest.
  • Memory loss after the procedure that improves over a year's time.
  • Kidney failure.
  • New heart attack.
  • Stroke from blood clots breaking loose at the time of surgery.

Your risk of having a complication following a coronary artery bypass graft surgery depends on how healthy you are before the surgery and on the skill of the surgeon. Be sure to check with the hospital to find out how many of these procedures the doctor has done and what the outcome has been.

Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery - Medical Negligence Solicitors

Our coronary artery bypass solicitors operate using the no win no fee* scheme and you will not have to fund or finance your claim in any respect. In the event that the claim is successful the other side will pay our legal charges and if we are not successful you pay nothing at all. You have nothing to lose in taking up our offer of free advice and there is no further obligation should you decide not to pursue a claim further. We offer a true professional risk free service and you will only ever deal with a qualified, specialist medical negligence solicitor who answers to the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Do yourself justice and call our offices today.


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The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here