The term bypass describes a heart surgery technique involving bypassing (short circuiting) a blood vessel which either does not allow blood to circulate or limits circulation (often blocked by atheromatous plaque). A replacement vessel is then provided (a vein removed from the patient, or a synthetic vessel) in order to restore effective blood circulation.
The four most common bypasses
- Coronary artery bypass graft, that connects the aorta to a coronary artery;
- ilio-femoral bypass that connects an iliac artery to a femoral artery;
- carotid bypass that restores normal functioning to the arteries of the neck (carotids);
- and venous bypass that is used to treat portal vein hypertension.
Aorto-coronary bypass requires open surgery. © SeanMack, Wikimedia, public domain