What Are The Side Effects Of Bypass Surgery?

ide Effects of Bypass Surgery

Have you recently undergone a Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) Surgery and are wondering when the side-effects will kick in? Your doctor should have given you very specific instructions on how you should go about recovering. However, what you might be wondering about is what exactly are the side effects of bypass surgery?

According to the National Health Service in the UK, a full recovery from a CABG surgery should occur within 12 weeks of your operation, with the side-effects waning off after 3-4 weeks. But that doesn’t mean that it will be the same for everyone.

Some side effects might still be seen three months in (or longer.) It just depends on your level of fitness, age, and general health. Now, before we are side-tracked further, let’s discuss what these side effects are. 

Side Effects As A Result Of Bypass Surgery

As mentioned, side-effects will differ based on the person. Not just in severity but also in how long the side-effects end up lasting. If your side-effects are lasting longer than others, this might just be a result of the factors we mentioned earlier.

Of course, if you are still concerned, you could always contact your doctor and ask them what would be considered normal for someone of your age and health. As for what the general populous can expect, a journal from the UCSF’s Department of Surgery list them as follows:

  • Irritation at the point of Incision (which could include chest pain, itchiness, or swelling.) Although recent advancements in medicine have helped ease this somewhat.
  • The tightening of the muscles around your shoulders and upper back that results in muscle pain.
  • General dips in mood and motivations as a result of fatigue, mood swings, or even depression. This is one of the most long-lasting side-effects, according to human clinical trials, and is completely prevalent after CABG surgery.
  • Insomnia or loss of appetite.
  • Constipation.

Ongoing care is expected after a bypass surgery. So, if you’re experiencing any unusual side-effects, that would be the best time to report it to your doctor and see what recommendations they have on how best to ease your discomfort.

When To Seek Medical Advice

If you want an idea on side-effects that will require that you seek medical advice or a checkup with your doctor, these include the following:

  • Severe chest pain
  • Extreme shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations that cause dizziness or faintness
  • Pain in the incision that only gets worse as time passes
  • Pus or blood forming around the incision
  • Extreme high-temperature fever


Because of the complexity of bypass surgeries, side-effects are to be expected. However, that doesn’t mean all side-effects are normal. Make sure to pay attention to any possible after-effects of your operation in order to know when exactly you will need to seek medical advice.


  1. “Coronary Artery Bypass Graft.” NHS Choices, NHS, www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronary-artery-bypass-graft-cabg/recovery/.
  2. Hyperarts, Rob Mayfield -. “Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG).” Cardiothoracic Surgery – Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG), adultct.surgery.ucsf.edu/conditions–procedures/coronary-artery-bypass-grafting-(CABG).aspx.
  3. “Treatment of Depression After Coronary Bypass Surgery – Full Text View.” Full-Text View – ClinicalTrials.gov, clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00042198.