The most commonly performed major surgery in North America, heart bypass or coronary bypass surgery takes a piece of vein from the leg or chest and uses it to replace part of a heart artery that has been blocked or narrowed. The surgeon may need to perform a single, double, triple, quadruple or quintuple bypass. This simply refers to the number of coronary arteries bypassed (partly replaced) during the surgery. Note that having a greater number of bypasses does not imply a person is more sick, nor does a lesser number mean the person is more healthy.
Heart Bypass Surgery Wait Times in Canada
Heart bypass surgery requires a highly specialized medical team and is not available in all communities. As a result of rationing of care by the Canadian public health system, you may have to wait for others ahead of you in line, particularly if your case is not deemed “urgent.” This is a particular concern with coronary bypass surgery, because your risk of complications is significantly higher if the surgery is done on an emergency basis.
Typically, Timely Medicals can get you surgery within 1-2 weeks from the time we receive your diagnostic package. In certain cases, we can get a client surgery within 24 hours. Call or e-mail us to get an accurate quote and timeline for your surgery. We can help you find a private clinic to expedite your diagnosis so you can get your surgery before it becomes an emergency.
Why do I need heart bypass surgery?
If your doctor has diagnosed you with coronary artery disease, and your disease has not be controlled by medication or lifestyle changes, and an angioplasty is not possible (or it succeeded but the artery has narrowed again), you may be a good candidate for coronary bypass surgery.
Coronary artery disease occurs when the blood vessels that supply your heart become narrowed or blocked by fatty deposits known as plaque. This plaque narrows the arteries – and sometimes even blocks them – making it difficult for the blood to get through.
What happens after heart bypass surgery?
After your surgery, you’ll be taken to the intensive care unit for several hours to several days and carefully monitored. Your total hospital stay will likely be in the five to seven day range and your total recovery period will be somewhere between four and 12 weeks – depending on your overall health and the nature of your surgery. Your surgeon can give you a better estimate of anticipated recovery time at the time of your consultation.
Your surgeon will likely recommend a cardiac rehabilitation program. It will also be important for you to make lifestyle changes such as stopping smoking, improving your diet and increasing exercise.