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Questions to Ask Your Cardiologist about Heart Bypass Surgery


Heart bypass surgery is also known as coronary artery bypass surgery. This procedure involving the heart aims to replace damaged portions of arteries in heart. For this operation cardiac surgeons use graft blood vessels harvested from another region of the body in order to repair damaged arteries. This surgical intervention is useful when coronary arteries either become damaged or blocked. These coronary arteries are blood vessels supplying oxygenated blood to the heart’s muscles. Therefore, whenever they allow restricted blood flow or get blocked, it becomes difficult for the heart to function properly. In turn, this condition can also lead to heart failure. It is estimated that more than 395,000 people undergo heart bypass surgery in the United States every year. However, it is essential that cardiologists & patients have a free & frank discussion during the initial appointment for successful outcomes. Here is a list of questions which can be helpful for patients to prepare & use during initial appointment for heart bypass surgery.

Questions Heart Patients Can Ask Cardiologists


  • What exactly is coronary artery disease?
  • How many of my heart vessels are blocked?
  • What treatment options do I have?
  • What are the risks & benefits of coronary artery bypass surgery?
  • Why would you recommend this treatment for me over others?
  • What kind of lifestyle changes do I need to make for & after this treatment procedure?
  • Would you support my decision in case I decide not to undergo open-heart surgery?
  • Can I take some time in order to put my affairs right prior to undergoing heart surgery?
  • Do I need to complete an Advance Directive?
  • Do I need to avoid caffeine & various other stimulants for 2 days prior to undergoing heart surgery?
  • For Diabetic Patients – How often would my blood be monitored for blood sugar?
  • In case I opt to undergo heart surgery, am I required to take medications after the procedure? If it is, then for how long?

Questions to Ask the Cardiac Surgeon

  • What general risks & complications are associated with my surgical procedure?
  • What are the specific risks of heart bypass surgery?
  • How risky is it for me to undergo this surgical intervention?
  • Have I had a heart attack? In case I did, how will it affect my heart operation?
  • How many people (men / women) have you operated upon with the same medical condition that I have & how were the heart bypass surgery success rates?
  • How many patients do you normally operate upon every year? Of these, how many generally are women?
  • Will my chest & leg scars from surgery be minimal?
  • Can graft blood vessels not be taken from a lesser visible location?
  • How long will my recovery last?
  • When will I be able to resume normal activities?

Including the following –

  • Driving a car
  • Returning to job
  • Having sex
  • Independently be able to perform daily routine activities
  • need-for-heart-bypass-surgery

Heart bypass surgery will also be required to make plans for arranging help at home during the first 15 days after discharge from hospital following operation.

  • Will the hospital follow Bloodless Care Protocols in case I decide not to have any blood products administered?
  • What type of accommodation options are available for my partner / friend to stay at the hospital campus while they support me through the coronary artery bypass surgery recovery?
  • Apart from you, who will be able to answer some other concerns which I may have before the operation?

Provide the Following Information to Cardiac Surgeons

Patients must tell the following to their cardiac surgeons.

  • If they want bloodless care.
  • If they want Advance Directives postponed during surgical intervention. This is the usual practice & it will be reinstated after the patient is stable & transferred to intensive care unit (ICU) following completion of operation.
  • Cardiac surgeon will have to look elsewhere for graft blood vessels, in case the patient had previously undergone vein stripping operation.
  • Whether the patient wants to hear reassurances during the operating procedure saying that “All is well”.
  • Whether the patient would like to employ holistic measures alongside during coronary artery bypass surgery recovery so as to help them relax. Like for example therapies like aroma therapy, therapeutic massage, bio-feedback, reflexology, or music therapy.
  • Whether the patient would like to hear a relaxing CD during the operating procedure. They may even be able to bring in their own headphones & CD players & which may be well worth the trouble.

Heart Bypass Surgery patients should essentially discuss health history with anesthesiologists as it could affect the way they respond to anesthesia. Some of these issues may include the following.

  • Having panic attacks
  • Experiencing pain in chest which is not related to activity
  • Taking medications for anxiety
  • Excessive alcohol consumption, including binge drinking or drinking during weekends
  • Taking herbal supplements
  • Whether the patient or any other family member or blood relative has at anytime had serious reactions to anesthesia
  • Whether the patient is having drug allergy or sensitivity or is allergic to latex

Affordable Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery with IndianMedTrip

Heart bypass surgery survival rates in India are comparable to the best in the world, like in countries like UK, Canada & United States. Benefits of coronary bypass surgery in India are many including heart bypass surgery success rates which are at par with what one could expect undergoing this procedure in the United States. Moreover, CABG cost in India is very reasonable & just a fraction of what a patient may have to pay in developed countries. India, with its large pool of cardiac surgeons & an extensive network of specialty & multispecialty hospitals offers an excellent medical tourism destination for international patients seeking affordable medical procedures beyond their homeland.

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