As one type of open-heart surgery, coronary artery bypass grafting is a big operation. Although it's a remarkably safe procedure, recovery can be difficult. In the December 2012 Harvard Heart Letter, a Harvard-affiliated cardiac surgeon and cardiac intensivist offer five tips for recovering as quickly as possible.
Bypass surgery is done to restore blood flow to the heart muscle when coronary arteries become narrowed or blocked by cholesterol-filled plaque. Each year, more than 400,000 Americans undergo this operation.
Five key factors affect recovery, according to Dr. R. Morton Bolman III, the chief of cardiac surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Dr. James Rawn, a cardiac intensivist at the Brigham:
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