Risks

Because coronary bypass surgery is an open-heart surgery, you may have complications during or following your procedure. Possible complications of coronary bypass surgery include:

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

Your risk of developing complications is generally low, but depends on your health before surgery. Your doctor can give you a better idea of the likelihood of experiencing these risks.

Your risk of complications 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).

Dec. 17, 2015
References
  1. Coronary artery bypass grafting. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/cabg/#. Accessed Oct. 18, 2015.
  2. Longo DL, et al., eds. Ischemic heart disease. In: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 19th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2015. http://accessmedicine.com. Accessed Oct. 18, 2015.
  3. Fuster V, ed. et al. Coronary bypass surgery. In: Hurst's The Heart. 13th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed Oct. 18, 2015.
  4. Hillis LD, et al. ACC/AHA 2011 guideline update for coronary artery bypass graft surgery: A report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2011;58:e123.
  5. Chaudry UAR, et al. Beating-heart versus conventional on-pump coronary artery bypass grafting: A meta-analysis of clinical outcomes. Annals of Thoracic Surgery. In press. Accessed Oct. 18, 2015.
  6. Aranki S, et al. Early noncardiac complications after coronary artery bypass surgery. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 18, 2015.
  7. Aranki S, et al. Medical therapy to prevent complications after coronary artery bypass graft surgery. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 18, 2015.
  8. Riggs EA. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 10, 2015.