Heart bypass grafts

Heart bypass grafts

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Credit: JOHN BAVOSI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Heart bypass grafts. Artwork of a heart that has had a blockage of the coronary arteries treated by coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. The coronary arteries are the small blood vessels seen running over the outer surface of the heart. They supply oxygenated blood to keep the heart muscle pumping, and a blockage can cause a fatal heart attack. The solution is to harvest arteries from elsewhere in the body and use them to bypass the blockage. Three grafts are seen running from the aorta, the main body artery, back to the coronary arteries, secured by sutures (black). Three grafts makes this a triple bypass operation, indicating an advanced state of heart disease.

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