Skip to content

Heart Disease Health Center

Font Size

Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery: How to Prepare - Topic Overview

How do you prepare for CABG surgery?

There are many things that you can and must do in the days and weeks before your coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. Your surgeon will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for your CABG surgery.

CABG surgery is an invasive procedure that has a fairly long recovery time, so it is important that you prepare carefully for your surgery as well as for the days and weeks following your surgery. Try to make your life simpler during the recovery period by doing things such as paying bills ahead of time and arranging for someone to assist you in the days following your surgery. It is also important to plan for any complications that could arise. A lot of the preparation that you do before your surgery will help you afterward, while you are recovering.

Recommended Related to Heart Disease

The Post-Quadruple-Bypass Workout

Lynn Swassing was just 48 years old, the mother of two sons in high school and one daughter in college, when she had a heart attack in 1987. She underwent quadruple bypass surgery and was hospitalized for nearly six weeks. Every single day, at some point, the hospital had an exercise specialist at the foot of my bed, she recalls. They told me, if you don't get active, you won't make it. No way,was Swassing's first thought. The full-time mom had never been on a treadmill in her life, and she...

Read the The Post-Quadruple-Bypass Workout article > >

Before surgery

In the 2 or 3 weeks prior to surgery, attend any scheduled appointments with your surgeon. You will need to have several tests done before your surgery. Most of these tests are done so that your doctors can evaluate and compare your health before and after CABG surgery. The tests can also help your doctors anticipate any special needs. To be ready by the day of your surgery, the tests need to be done days or weeks before.

Tests done days or weeks before surgery

  • Blood count (hematocrit): This blood test can reveal whether you are anemic (have a low red blood cell count). A very low blood count may need to be increased before or during surgery with a blood transfusion.
  • Prothrombin time (PT, also referred to as INR) and thromboplastin time (PTT) values: These blood tests measure your blood's ability to clot. Typically, you will have these tests if you have recently stopped taking blood-thinning drugs, to make sure the drugs are no longer affecting your blood's ability to clot.
  • Other blood tests: Other tests may be done to assess your kidney and liver functions and provide information on the health of these organs.
  • Chest X-ray: This test provides a picture of the size and shape of your heart and aorta and whether your lungs appear normal.
  • Cardiac catheterization: This test allows your doctor to picture your coronary arteries and identify the location of blockages to help plan your CABG surgery.
    Next Article:

    Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery: How to Prepare Topics

    Today on WebMD

    x-ray of human heart
    A visual guide.
    atrial fibrillation
    Symptoms and causes.
    heart rate graph
    10 things to never do.
    heart rate
    Get the facts.
    empty football helmet
    red wine
    eating blueberries
    Simple Steps to Lower Cholesterol
    Inside A Heart Attack
    Omega 3 Sources
    Salt Shockers
    lowering blood pressure