Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, and about half of Americans have at least one risk factor. Half-a-million coronary bypass surgeries are performed each year in the US.
Open-heart surgery is a procedure where the chest needs to be opened to correct problems with the heart. Depending on the type of surgery, the surgeon may also have to open the heart. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the most common heart surgery is the coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG)1 to treat severe coronary heart disease, which happens when plaque builds up inside the arteries.