British Heart Foundation
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Coronary artery bypass

Hi everybody, I am new to the forum. In brief I had a heart attack in 2010 then went on to have stents inserted to main arteries, that actually helped to stop chest pain. Recently I had an angiogram which showed three diseased main vessels. The cardiologist referred me for bypass surgery. Is this the best option and what is the benefit risk ratio? Please advise .

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Hi Ven, did your cardiologist not talk to you about any options? When I had my heart attack I had an angiogram which basically ruled out stents and was advised to have a bypass. After talking it through with the cardiologist i understood why stenting wasn't an option for me

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Hi Skid, the cardiogist also ruled out stanting as I had them already. He suggested bypass will be a long term thing. I have an appointment with the sergion next week. What questions should I ask him and what preparations should I do before the surgery? Thanks Skid for your advice.

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ok, ask if they are using the vein in your left leg and try and get them to agree to use three smaller incisions for removal rather than one for the whole leg, makes it easier for you to recover from. Ask how many bypasses they intend to perform, from the sound of it at least three, they may do more. has there been any damage to your heart muscle from the diseased vessels. Where are you having the surgery and who will be the surgeon, will you get a chance to have a conversation with them? Most of the surgeons are happy to talk you through the operation, in glorious detail if you are interested, they have performed this countless times and though surgery can be up to 8 hours long it is fairly straightforward now. I know of one surgeon in Basildon, who has pioneered a through the rib bypass, involved no chest bone cutting, but so far only one artery can be replaced like this. How long do they think you will be in hospital for, this will vary between patients and there levels of strength and fitness.

I was interested to know how long the bypass would last and what would they look to do post that period. (twenty years I was told)

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Thanks Skid, the surgery will be done at Manchester by Mr P D Waterworth. I don't know yet how long it will take, I will ask him on my first consultation meeting with him next week.

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most welcome, if I can think of anything else I will post it here.

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Hello - sorry to hear about your angiogram results. For your individual risk percentages it's always best to speak to your specialist, but as a general rule having bypass surgery when three of your major arteries are severely diseased gives the best result and is usually the safest option.

You can read more about heart surgery in our booklet, and the extra information might help you make a decision about next steps: bhf.org.uk/publications/hea...

You can also call our helpline and speak to a nurse about things in more detail - 0300 330 3311 9-5pm Monday to Friday.

Take care, Chris

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Thanks Chris for your contribution

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