Heart Bypass

Overview of Procedure | Common Complications | Report an Incident


What is heart bypass surgery?

This procedure is known by a number of names, including coronary artery bypass surgery and coronary artery bypass graft (shortened to CABG). It is performed in order to restore normal blood flow in the event of an obstructed coronary artery. It is done to treat angina (chest pain) and heart failure.

The surgery typically involves either diverting an existing artery in the chest to provide adequate blood flow to the heart, or else removing a section of an existing blood vessel from somewhere else in the patient’s body (often the leg) and grafting it into the obstructed area.

What countries are the most popular destinations for this procedure?

India, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Mexico, and others.

What is the range of prices?

Heart bypass surgery in the U.S. usually costs more than $75,000, and can often be more than $125,000,

$20,000 in the U.K.,

$40,000 and up in Australia,

$13,000 to $30,000 in Singapore,

$13,000 to $43,000 in Thailand,

$10,000 to $28,000 in Mexico,

$10,000 to $17,000 in Malaysia,

$6,600 to$10,000 in India.


What are the common complications if the procedure is performed abroad?

Heart bypass is a major surgery, so even under optimal conditions it carries risks of major complications. These include infection, bleeding, blood clots, kidney failure, cognitive problems, arrhythmia, and reactions to anaesthesia.

This is especially true when combined with the stress of international travel while seriously ill or after surgery. Complications are also more likely if the procedure is performed in a facility that lacks international accreditation or fails to meet accepted standards of hygiene, modernity, or professionalism.

Horror story

A prominent and widely reported example of what can go terribly wrong is the case of famous American comedian Dana Carvey. In 1997, he underwent bypass surgery. Even though he didn’t feel any better afterwards, it wasn’t until a routine examination a few months later that it was discovered that the surgeon had operated on the wrong artery. Carvey had suffered all the pain and risks of heart bypass surgery without even having his problem fixed. It took years and more procedures before he was finally healthy.