This is the most common “open” heart procedure performed in the United States. We perform over 250 bypass procedures yearly at the University of Tennessee Medical Center.
Blocked arteries on the heart are “bypassed” using pieces of veins from the leg, arteries from beneath the breastbone, or arteries from the forearm. By improving blood flow to the heart, bypass surgery provides relief of chest pain, prevents heart attack and prolongs life. Recovery in the hospital is around five days following surgery. Sternal precautions, lifting restrictions, are advised for 8-12 weeks until the breastbone fully heals.