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Monitoring During Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery


Monitoring During Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery

Your medical team will monitor your vital signs, such as blood pressure, heart rhythm, and blood oxygen levels, both during and after your coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. Each team member has been trained to use devices placed both outside (noninvasive) and inside (invasive) your body.

Your anesthesiologist will begin to monitor your vital signs, including your blood pressure, heart rate and rhythm, and blood oxygen content, before surgery begins. He or she will note any irregular or abnormal readings and then closely monitor your vital signs during surgery, particularly the following:

Noninvasive monitoring during surgery

Vital sign

Monitoring device

Purpose

Blood pressureBlood pressure cuff on your arm Monitor changes in your blood pressure before, during, and after surgery
Heart rate and rhythmWires connected to your arms and legs that lead to a machine (EKG) Monitor your heart's electrical activity during the procedure
Blood oxygen content

A pulse oximeter on your fingertip

Evaluate the amount of oxygen in your blood

Due to the serious nature of CABG surgery, your anesthesiologist will also use invasive monitoring devices to track your body's reaction to surgery during and after the procedure. The most common of these devices are described below.

Invasive monitoring during surgery

Monitoring device

Description

Purpose

Arterial line (A-line)A thin, plastic tube inserted into an artery in your wrist
  • Monitor changes in your body's blood pressure during and after surgery
  • Used to withdraw arterial blood, which is tested for oxygen levels
Pulmonary artery catheterA thin, plastic tube inserted into a vein in your neck and threaded down into the heart and pulmonary artery
  • Monitor pressures within your heart
  • Monitor blood flow through your heart
Central venous catheterA thin, plastic tube (often containing the pulmonary artery catheter) inserted into a vein in your neck
  • Allow blood to be drawn for analysis during and after surgery
  • Allow medicines to be given directly into the large veins that lead to your heart

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerJohn A. McPherson, MD, FACC, FSCAI - Cardiology
Last RevisedMay 10, 2010

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