Difference Between Open Heart Surgery and Bypass Surgery?

In coronary bypass surgery, the blood is redirected through a partially or completely blocked artery in the heart. In the process, the doctor takes a healthy artery from your arms, legs, or chest and then connects it above or below the non-functional one in the heart. As it creates a new pathway, the blood again starts to flow smoothly without any interruption.

Nevertheless, this surgery does not cure blockages such as coronary artery disease and atherosclerosis. However, it can significantly reduce symptoms such as breathlessness and chest pain. For some patients, it can decrease their chances of dying and can improve heart conditions. According to an institution, coronary artery bypass grafting is the most commonly performed surgery in adults.


Under what conditions do you need the surgery?

There are approximately 200,000 people who are operated on every year in the US through this surgery. It treats the artery disease signs, which generally arise when a waxy material called plaque grows inside your heart artery. As a result, it blocks your blood and oxygen from reaching the heart. The following conditions may require surgery:

  • Blood cannot pass into the left ventricle if the left main coronary artery is blocked.
  • You are experiencing severe chest pain as a result of blood supply blockages.
  • You have gone through a procedure before, but it hasn’t worked, or your artery has narrowed down again.
  • Heart disease has developed inside your coronary arteries, compromising the work of the left ventricle, which pumps blood throughout the body.

Coronary heart disease is the main cause of heart failure. It can lead to blood clots and block blood circulation. However, if you have bypass surgery, it can stimulate your health again.

Difference between open heart surgery and heart bypass surgery

In heart bypass surgery, the doctors open up the chest through a minor cut to reach the heart. Doctors can perform the rest of the surgery either on-pump or off-pump after making incisions.

In on-pump surgery, the surgeons use a heart-lung machine to stop your heart and perform the operation efficiently. The device will circulate the blood and help your body to breathe.

In contrast, in off-pump surgery, your heart continues to beat throughout the procedure; also known as “beating heart surgery”. There is no need for a heart-lung machine in this process.

In some cases, however, a doctor can perform surgery without cutting the chest, which is known as closed heart surgery. The risk and side effects of these procedures depend on person-to-person. So it’s best to let the doctor decide which treatment will be best for you.

The difference in the cost of these surgeries according to the country –



Open Heart Surgery

Bypass Surgery


United States of America (USA)


$30,000 to $200,000



$38,800 and Above

$44,000 and Above


United Kingdom (UK) 

£17,500 And Above

£17,500 And Above


United Arab Emirates (UAE)





$2000 – $3500

$2200 – $5500

When is Open Heart Surgery needed?

You may need open heart surgery due to many reasons, such as arrhythmias, congenital heart defects, heart artery disease, heart failure, heart valve disease, thoracic aortic aneurysm, chest pain, difficulty breathing, and palpitations or abnormal heart rhythms.

When is Bypass Surgery Needed?

Your doctor may recommend coronary bypass surgery if you have a blocked artery in your heart.  

What is the best way to care for a patient after bypass surgery?

After you have gone through the heart surgery, the first stage of recovery will last for about 6 to 8 weeks, and you have to remain at the hospital for proper care.

However, after discharge, you will get a set of instructions that you need to follow for post-surgery care. It is essential to take care of the patient to prevent the surgery’s side effects and recover better. So you must follow the following points:

Wound care

Make sure the wound area is clean and dry all the time. Also, call the doctor when you notice any of the signs of infection mentioned below:

  • Fewer above 100 F
  • Redness or burning sensation around the cut
  • Excessive oozing or drainage of blood


After 6 to 8 weeks, you will be able to do the household chores. However, the doctor will provide you with a guideline including

  • Don’t carry, push or pull heavy objects.
  • Don’t stand in one position or place for more than 15 minutes.
  • Walk every day.
  • Don’t lift heavy objects that weigh greater than 10 pounds.
  • You can climb stairs unless told otherwise.
  • Do not drive unless the doctors permit you.
  • Always eat healthy food, and avoid spicy or fried meals.
  • Try light meals.
  • Do light exercises as prescribed by the doctor.


CABG is one of the parts of open-heart surgery, which the doctors recommend if the patient is suffering from blocked heart arteries, which may cause a heart attack. It is a precaution to avoid the risk of death due to heart attacks opted by many people around the globe.


Bypass surgery takes 3 to 6 hours. But bypass surgery can take longer, depending on how many of your blood vessels are being connected.

Heart bypass surgery can sometimes be performed without opening the chest. The risks and potential complications vary from person to person.

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