Because coronary bypass surgery is an open-heart surgery, you may have complications during or following your procedure. The most common complications of coronary bypass surgery are:

  • Bleeding
  • Heart rhythm irregularities (arrhythmias)

Less common complications include:

  • Infections of the chest wound
  • Memory loss or troubles with thinking clearly, which often improve within six to 12 months
  • Kidney failure
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack, if a blood clot breaks loose soon after surgery

Your risk of developing these complications depends on your health before the surgery. Talk to your doctor to get a better idea of the likelihood of experiencing these risks.

If you're having a scheduled coronary bypass surgery, your risk of complications is usually low, but still depends on your overall health. The risk is higher if the operation is done as an emergency or if you have other medical conditions, such as emphysema, kidney disease, diabetes or blocked arteries in your legs (peripheral artery disease, or PAD).

Oct. 23, 2012