WHAT IS CABG?
Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is the type of surgery that is performed on individuals with
severe coronary heart disease (CHD) or coronary artery disease. The coronary arteries supply
oxygenated blood to the heart muscles. In people suffering from CHD plaque builds up inside the
coronary arteries. The plaque is an amalgamation of fat, cholesterol, calcium and other particles.
Owing to the presence of plaque in the arteries, the normal blood flow to the heart is restricted. The
reduction in blood flow because of narrowing of coronary arteries can lead to chest pain, angina,
shortness of breath and even heart attack.
During the CABG procedure, a healthy (plaque-free) coronary artery is connected or grafted to the
blocked artery. This grafted artery or vein creates a new passage for the oxygen-rich blood to reach
the heart muscles and the danger is obviated. Thus a CABG procedure creates a bypass with the
healthy artery around the blocked coronary artery.
REHABILITATION FOR PATIENTS AFTER CABG
Cardiac rehabilitation is usually sought out by patients after they undergo a CABG procedure. Post-
CABG, rehabilitation is administered to patients, which involve a systematic assessment of the
patient’s physical and psychological aspects. The team of specialists involve cardiologists,
nutritionists, therapists and psychologists who help the patients to recover in the following ways:
Physical exercise and therapy: At the initial stage of recuperation, patients will be given safe
exercises that focus on enhancing their mobility and endurance. Gradually resistance training
exercises are made a part of the program to improve muscle strength. The ultimate goal of the
therapy is to increase exercise capacity, reduce breathlessness and ensure protection against
subsequent episodes of a heart attack.
Nutritional assessment: Patients who have undergone CABG have to be alert about their eating
habits and thus proper nutritional guidance is needed. The nutritionist prepares the diet chart based
on medical comorbidities, calorie requirement and BMI.
Lifestyle plan: Individuals need to get accustomed to a new way of life that benefits them physically
and mentally. The risk factors can be reduced with proper guidance, medical follow-ups and lifestyle
Emotional support: Falling into depression is a very common phenomenon and people can even
have anxiety issues. A psychotherapist is often allotted to deal with the patient’s emotional distress
and restore him or her to the former state of health and optimism. Moreover, stress-control is
necessary as it can lead to heart attack, stroke or chest pain.
Rehabilitation programmes are designed to attune the patients to certain lifestyle choices and
nutritional preferences that become imperative after a CABG procedure. The benefits for the
individuals include improved heart function, reduced risks of cardiac complications and physical