The results of coronary artery bypass graft surgery can last for more than 20 years. It’s more effective than angioplasty and stents in diabetic patients and in people who had poor heart function before surgery.
Most people get great relief from chest pain and enjoy an improved quality of life.
Once you recover, you may feel healthier and more active than you did before the surgery. Your risk of future heart problems should also be reduced.
In general, the younger you are, the more arteries that are involved and the more risk factors you have for heart disease, the more you’re likely to benefit from coronary artery bypass surgery.
Complications of bypass surgery can include:
- Abnormal heart rhythm
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Kidney failure
- Swelling of the legs
- Death (1%)
The rate of complications, both short and long term (including re-hospitalisation) is 20 - 30%. The risk of death from bypass surgery can be higher in elderly people and for people who have other health problems. Your risks are lower if the surgery is performed as an elective (non-emergency) procedure.
Common conditions that may affect the outcome of surgery include diabetes, obesity and infection. If you’re overweight or obese, there are increased risks associated with anaesthesia.
Smokers are also at a higher risk of complications following surgery, so this could be a good time to quit. The free HCF Quit Smoking app can help you kick the habit.
Ask your surgeon about the results and risks associated with your surgery. Also ask about the rate of complications following the surgeries they’ve performed.