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Before CABG (Coronary Artery Bypass Graft)

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Mar 3, 2024.


Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG)

is open heart surgery to clear blocked arteries in your heart. CABG surgery improves blood flow to your heart by bypassing (sending blood around) the blocked part of an artery. This restores blood flow to your heart and helps prevent a heart attack.

Blocked Coronary Artery

Call your doctor or cardiologist if:


may be needed several days before or on the day of surgery. You may need blood tests, an electrocardiogram (EKG), or an echocardiogram. You may also need a cardiac catheterization or a coronary angiogram. These tests will help your healthcare provider see where the blood flow is blocked and help him plan your surgery.

Eating and drinking before surgery:

Your healthcare provider may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your surgery.

Medicines before surgery:

Your healthcare provider will tell you which medicines to take or not take on the day of your surgery. Talk to your healthcare provider several days before your surgery about any medicines that you take regularly:

Blood donation before surgery:

You may be able to donate your own blood before surgery. This is called autologous blood donation. You may also ask a family member or friend with the same blood type to donate blood for you. This is called directed blood donation.

Weight loss before surgery:

You may need to lose weight before your surgery. This helps decrease the stress on your heart and your risk for complications during or after surgery. Talk to your healthcare provider if you need help to lose weight.

Quit smoking before surgery:

Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes and cigars can damage your heart and lungs. Smoking may prevent healing and increase your risk for complications during or after your surgery. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help to quit. E-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco still contain nicotine. Talk to your healthcare provider before you use these products.

What to expect after surgery:

Cardiac rehabilitation (rehab):

You may need to go to cardiac rehab after surgery. Cardiac rehab is a program run by specialists who help you safely strengthen your heart and prevent more heart disease. The plan includes exercise, relaxation, stress management, and heart-healthy nutrition. Healthcare providers will also check to make sure any medicines you take are working. The plan may also include instructions for when you can drive, return to work, and do other normal daily activities.

Follow up with your doctor or cardiologist as directed:

You may need to go in regularly for tests to check how your heart is doing. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.