Advanced surgical techniques restore blood flow to the heart

Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), such as coronary angioplasty, are examples of coronary revascularization. The purpose of revascularization is to help restore blood flow to the heart due to diseased arteries (coronary artery disease).

During robotic-assisted CABG, performed minimally invasively with small incisions in the chest vs. open-heart surgery, your surgeon attaches (grafts) a healthy vessel (often taken from the leg) to the diseased or narrowed heart vessel. Blood then “bypasses” the diseased area and flows through the new vessel. Some people may need only one bypassed artery while others may need several.

With angioplasty the surgeon uses a balloon catheter with a wire mesh stent guided up to the heart and diseased vessel. The balloon is gently expanded against the artery walls, pressing the plaque buildup against the walls and leaving the expanded stent in place to allow blood to flow.

About 40 percent of all robotic-assisted CABG performed at Lankenau Heart Institute use the hybrid approach.

Hybrid coronary revascularization refers to both grafting and stenting approaches to improving blood flow to the heart. This combination often happens during CABG surgery, minimizing the need for separate surgeries and recovery time, or may occur in separate surgeries leading up to or after CABG.

To schedule an appointment with a Lankenau Heart Institute specialist, call 1.866.CALL.MLH (1.866.225.5654) or use our secure online appointment request form.