Heart bypass surgery is the most common type of heart surgery performed on adults. Doctors say it’s relatively safe and an effective procedure that reduces the risk of heart attack and death.

Dr. Tim Trotter is a cardio thoracic surgeon at Comanche County Memorial Hospital. He says, bypass surgery is the most common surgery that he performs on his patients.

“Bypass surgery is where the surgeon actually goes around the blockages that you have in the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle itself,” said Dr. Trotter.

Doctors do this to provide more blood flow to that section of the heart muscle that was dead or dying. And there are different techniques doctors can use.

“We can use pieces of vein from your leg to bypass those blockages,” said Dr. Trotter.”We can use arteries from underneath your chest wall or in your forearm to bypass those blocked arteries. No matter how you do it, it’s basically just going around the blockage.”

Dr. Trotter says one way to do the surgery, is to stop the heart and put it on the bypass machine. However, he uses another route.

“My way of doing it, is I don’t stop the heart,” said Dr. Trotter.”Even if I can’t do it without putting the patient on the bypass machine, I still just leave the heart beating when we do the surgery. It make it a little bit more technically challenging for me, but I think God started your heart, and I probably shouldn’t stop it without a good reason.”

Dr. Trotter says after the bypass surgery, he asks his patients not to do any heavy lifting, but besides that, patients should get back to living their normal life.

“If you don’t go back to doing the things you were doing before you got sick, or before we did the bypass surgery, there really isn’t much of a victory for us from our perspective,” said Dr. Trotter.

Dr. Trotter says there are things you can do to help prevent needing a surgery like this, like eating a healthy diet, exercising, and stopping smoking.