Tests and imaging
Before deciding to do coronary artery bypass graft surgery, your doctor will order a number of tests and imaging studies to make sure it's the correct approach:
An echocardiogram reveals information about your heart´s structure and function at rest. If you have heart disease, parts of your heart aren’t receiving enough blood and as a result they tend to move less than if your heart was healthy.
A stress test is actually a series of tests which reveal information about how your heart behaves under stress. If there is an obstruction, your heart will show signs of it when stressed. Stress tests aren’t always needed: if you have chest pain and the probability of heart disease is high, your doctor may proceed directly to a coronary angiogram.
A coronary angiography is a way of visualising your coronary arteries to see where they’re narrowed. First, a thin tube is put into an artery. Then, a catheter is guided through it until it reaches your coronary artery. Next, a dye is injected which makes the artery visible on an x-ray. Your doctor can then see any narrowed areas.
If you’re taking any medications, make sure your doctor is aware of them. Don’t forget to mention over-the-counter, alternative and complementary medications. The doctor will advise you whether to stop taking them before the procedure.
Consultation with the anaesthetist
The anaesthetist will explain the options and risks of anaesthesia. They’ll want to know about any other existing medical conditions you may have, especially conditions such as lung or heart disease, kidney problems or previous problems with anaesthesia.