What is it?

A bypass operation, or coronary bypass surgery, is a heart operation that is indicated when a diagnostic cardiac catheterisation shows constrictions in the coronary arteries that cannot be considered for a dilation of the coronary arteries or the heart valve.

During the bypass operation, the veins or arteries from elsewhere in the body are used to redirect the blood flow around the narrowed or blocked coronary artery.

  • The most commonly used vein is that on the inner side of the breast bone, the arteria mammaria interna.
  • The most commonly used artery is one found in the lower leg, the vena saphena magna.

The veins or arteries are implanted so that blood flow from the heart can recover and so that you no longer experience chest pain. You will have an increased capacity for exertion and be at less risk of a heart attack.

Centres and specialist areas

Cardiac surgery

Latest publication date: 05/02/2021
Supervising author: Dr Provenier Frank