• What Do the Different Names for Bypass Surgery Mean?


    You may hear bypass surgery referred to by different names. Coronary artery bypass graft surgery, or CABG (pronounced “cabbage”), is one common term. This term accurately describes exactly what the surgery accomplishes:  grafting (or sewing) a new blood vessel to a heart artery to re-route blood flow around a blockage.

    You will also hear CABG referred to simply as bypass surgery, and you have probably heard the term open-heart surgery. That is because the procedure is an open-chest operation, where the heart surgeon makes an incision in the chest, opens the sternum (or breastbone), and makes an incision in a membrane around the heart to expose the heart for the procedure.

    You have also probably heard the terms double or triple bypass or even quadruple or quintuple bypass. These terms refer to the number of heart arteries that needed to be bypassed with grafts.