Often simply called bypass surgery, this operation is extremely effective in relieving symptoms of coronary artery disease (CAD) and angina. It can relieve chest pain, reduce fatigue and dependence on medication, increase the ability to exercise, and greatly enhance well-being. For some people, the procedure is literally a lifesaver.
Bypass surgery is a fairly low-risk procedure. For someone who has an otherwise normal functioning heart, no history of heart attacks, and no conditions that could make surgery dangerous (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), non-emergency bypass surgery carries a risk of death of 3% or less.
There is a 5% chance of a heart attack during surgery. The risk from surgery is a bit higher if someone has had a heart attack before, or has other cardiovascular problems. About 90% of people who undergo the surgery experience complete or dramatic relief of their symptoms.