Cardiac surgery has been an independent medical specialty since 1993. It has developed from general surgery, focusing on thoracic and cardiovascular surgery. It deals with the surgical treatment of congenital and acquired diseases and injuries of the heart and the vessels near the heart.
Narrowed coronary arteries (coronaries) can lead to a heart attack because the heart muscle is no longer supplied with sufficient blood or oxygen. Coronary bypass surgery is one of the most common interventions worldwide. It becomes necessary when the narrowed coronary arteries can no longer be re-opened by other, mostly catheter-interventional measures. The body's vessels (arteries, veins) are used to bridge (= bypass) the coronary vessels' constrictions. This procedure restores blood flow to the heart muscle. Complaints such as chest pain (angina pectoris) or shortness of breath (dyspnoea) disappear, and the risk of suffering a heart attack is minimized.