Bypass surgery for diseased coronary arteries

Cardiovascular diseases are still by far the most common cause of death in Switzerland. Coronary heart disease (narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries due to deposits) plays a major role in this.

Bypasses are placed in the coronary arteries to improve the restricted blood flow to the heart muscle due to calcified, narrowed or even blocked coronary arteries with other blood vessels. The blood vessels used to bypass the diseased coronary vessels are taken from the patient. Arteries from the chest wall and/or from the forearm or veins from the leg are mainly used. With the help of these new vascular connections, the heart muscle is once again supplied with sufficient oxygen-rich blood.

Our clinic offers all modern bypass surgery options with or without a heart-lung machine. If indicated, the procedure is performed using a minimally invasive approach (MIDCAB), occasionally as a hybrid procedure with catheter-based intervention (insertion of stents). The use of state-of-the-art heart-lung machines makes it possible to reduce the use of external blood and speed up recovery after the procedure. If necessary, we also perform bypass operations in combination with other cardiac interventions.

The aims of treatment are to eliminate or alleviate the symptoms of chest pain and tightness, to restore a normal lifestyle and age-appropriate performance and to prevent heart attacks or other heart problems, such as arrhythmias.

We offer the following procedures at the USZ:

  • Aortocoronary bypass surgery, ACBP
  • Pure arterial revascularization of the coronary arteries
  • Dilation of the left ventricle after a heart attack (cardiac aneurysm)
  • Traumatic lesions of the heart
  • Congenital malformations of the coronary arteries in adults
Example of a bypass operation using both thoracic arteries and a leg vein

Example of a bypass operation using both chest wall arteries and a leg vein.

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