Heart bypass surgery. Surgeons about to open a patient's chest with rib spreaders. These are small rib spreaders used in female patients to avoid the breasts. The chest is being opened to remove the left mammary artery for use in a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG). During CABG, a healthy artery is attached to the diseased coronary artery. This re-routes the blood flow, bypassing the blocked coronary artery. Blood vessels can become blocked by the build-up of fatty plaques, known as atherosclerosis. This reduces blood flow to the areas served by the vessel. Inadequate blood flow to the heart can lead to heart pain (angina) or a heart attack (myocardial infarction).
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