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Tuesday, June 10, 2008 Sarah, Community Member, asks

Q: How many times can a person have heart bypass surgery?

My father had heart bypass surgery at age 42, he has had 3 heart attacks duing his life time.  Then seven years after his bypass surgery, he had to have another bypass surgery for the bypass, those veins that were used started to get blocked.  Then today, I found out that he is having problems again, it's been 9 years since his 2nd bypass surgery. Between the 1st and 2nd bypass, he had stints put in and then a few months after the stints, he had to have chemo put around the stints because the stints were beginning to become blocked.  Now that he is having problems again, I am scared that he is going to have to have bypass surgery again.  Before the second bypass, the doctor was scared that they were going to hit the main artery that was laying over the heart from the first bypass.  Is it going to be worse the third time? How many times can he have bypass surgery? He does take medication every day for the problem.  He also exercises daily, until this time, he can't walk down the driveway without being out of breath.

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Answers (2)
Dr. Blaivas, Health Pro
6/26/08 2:46pm

There is no specific limit of times that a person can undergo bypass surgery, however, three times would be unusual.  The surgery can become more complex each time due to scarring and other technical issues.  There are some less invasive procedures, including minimally invasive surgery that may be an option.  In addition, your father may again be a candidate for angioplasty with a stent to reopen his coronary blood vessels.  Good luck.

Bryan, Community Member
6/17/08 12:58am

My dad has had it three times, the last was almost 12 hours but he came trough it great. It gets more risky ever time they do it and he has been told he cant have a fourth bypass

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By Sarah, Community Member— Last Modified: 04/10/14, First Published: 06/10/08