A heart bypass surgery or coronary artery bypass surgery is performed to replace damaged arteries that supply blood to the heart muscles. The blood vessels are taken from another area of the body to repair the damaged arteries. The arteries might get damaged due to blockage. Arteries are responsible for supplying the heart with oxygenated blood. Blockage of arteries can lead to restricted blood flow resulting in heart failure.
Heart bypass surgery is usually recommended by doctors in such a case; however the surgery comes with a few risks such as bleeding, arrhythmia, blood clot, chest pain, infection, kidney failure and low-grade fever. Over the decade, more alternatives to heart bypass surgery have been discovered and implemented. Few of the alternatives have been listed below:
- Balloon angioplasty
During the process, a tube is threaded through the blocked artery following which a small balloon is inflated to widen the artery. The tube and balloon is removed and a small metal scaffold called a stent will be left in the place. The stent prevents the artery from contracting again.
- Enhanced external counter pulsation
The process involves compressing blood vessels in the lower limbs which increases blood flow to the heart. The extra blood flowing gets delivered to heart with every heartbeat. The blood vessels may develop extra branches over time, to deliver blood to the heart. This is indirectly known to be natural bypass procedure.
- Other methods
One can always consider certain medications before resorting to heart bypass surgery. Medicines that help in cholesterol reduction can slow plaque buildup in the arteries. Daily dose of baby aspirin can help prevent heart attacks. Apart from this healthy diets and simple lifestyle changes can go a long way. Avoiding saturated and trans fats help the heart stay healthy.