Using this guide What's covered
Here you’ll find the answers to many of your questions about coronary artery bypass graft surgery and how it can treat heart problems. Learn how it works, what it may cost, what your recovery may be like, and more.
To see how the surgery is done, view our animation below. For personal insights, see our patient experience videos in which HCF members talk frankly about their preparation, surgery and recovery.
Discover the typical-out-of-pocket costs HCF members can expect to pay for coronary artery bypass graft surgery and learn how your choice of doctor and hospital affect that cost.
What is a coronary artery bypass graft?
A healthy artery or vein (taken from your arm, leg, or the inside of your chest) is grafted on to the coronary artery to improve blood flow to your heart. Over 17,000 of these surgeries are performed in Australia every year.
Coronary artery bypass grafts are used to treat coronary artery disease, which occurs when a build-up of plaque (consisting of fatty deposits, cholesterol and calcium) sticks to the walls of the arteries, causing narrowing and blockages. This reduces the blood flow to the heart, which may cause clots that can result in a heart attack.
The main risk factors for coronary artery disease are:
- Eating a lot of saturated fat
- Unstable diabetes
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- A family history of heart disease
Signs you may need coronary artery bypass graft surgery
You may need the surgery if your coronary arteries are narrowed or blocked and you have symptoms like:
- Chest pain (angina)
- Shortness of breath
How coronary artery bypass graft surgery works
Coronary artery disease and how coronary artery bypass graft surgery is used to treat it.
Alternatives to surgery
Surgical and non-surgical methods of treating coronary artery disease.
Results vs risks of surgery
The benefits and potential complications of coronary artery
bypass graft surgery.
Choosing a specialist
How to find a surgeon who specialises in your procedure.
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