What to Know About Surgery for Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

Medically Reviewed by James Beckerman, MD, FACC on October 21, 2021

While there are many ways to treat coronary heart disease, surgery is one of the most effective options. Read more to learn about it. 

There are three main types of surgery for CAD. These surgeries are coronary artery bypass surgery and hybrid revascularization surgeries. 

Coronary artery bypass surgery. This is one of the most common procedures done for CAD. Usually, if you have advanced CAD, you will decide between getting a coronary artery bypass surgery, angioplasty, or stenting. However, studies have shown that coronary artery bypass surgery carries longer-term benefits than any other treatment in some settings.

If you get this procedure, a doctor will place you under general anesthesia. They will then make an incision and implant a plastic tube in your heart’s right side, which helps keep your circulation flowing during the procedure. 

They will then implant a blood vessel sourced from another part of your body to make a new artery to increase blood flow to the heart. This procedure can take up to four hours to finish. You will have to stay in the hospital for about a week so your recovery can be monitored. You may have to avoid physical exertion for up to a month after the surgery. Sometimes this procedure can be performed with the help of a robot. 

Hybrid revascularization. Hybrid revascularization is a combination of bypass surgery and angioplasty. The bypass surgery is done first. Then, two or three days later, your doctor will perform an angioplasty. An angioplasty is a procedure in which your doctor will install a catheter into a blocked artery to help restore blood flow to the heart.

Show Sources


Cleveland Clinic: “Coronary Artery Disease.”

Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Angioplasty and Stent Placement for the Heart.”

Mayo Clinic: “Coronary artery disease.”

NYU Langone Health: “Surgery for Coronary Artery Disease.”

© 2020 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved. View privacy policy and trust info