What is the Most Common Complication After a Bypass Surgery? 

What is the Most Common Complication After a Bypass Surgery

A Bypass Surgery, in all of its complexity, has been associated with a variety of complications. 

Some risks are related to the patient’s current physical condition and others are just as a result of issues that are related to the actual procedure itself.  

There is no one answer as to what is the most common complication after a Bypass Surgery.  

Instead, we’ve listed the most common complications associated with the procedure down below, preluded by an overview of which patients are the most at-risk and why.  


Before diving too deeply into the details, there are a couple of things that you should know. First, although Bypass Surgeries are infamous for resulting in mortal risk, such risks are now at an all-time low. At least, according to this study, where the researchers have calculated that only 2-3% of patients died as a result of the surgery.  

As to who is at the most risk, the NHS has listed the following risk factors: 

  • Age —  patients that are advanced in age (at least 85 years an older)  
  • Other Serious Conditions — patients who have diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (CPOD), or chronic kidney disease  
  • Gender — women often develop Coronary Artery Disease when they are older, which is why they are associated with more complications 
  • Emergency Surgery — a majority of Bypass Surgeries are planned, but there are times where an emergency surgery might be necessary, and this might also result in more risk 
  • Triple/Quadruple Bypass Surgery — more blockages will require a more complex procedure, which is associated with more complications 
  • Obesity — has also been linked to more complications.  

The Most Common Complications After Bypass Surgery 

Now that we’ve gone over the chance of an actual complication occurring as well as the risk factors associated with certain risks, let’s go over what these complications are.  

  • Internal bleeding that occurs during or after the procedure 
  • Blood Clots that travel and cause issues in other parts of the body — often resulting in a heart attack, a stroke, or problems in the lungs 
  • Infection at the point of incision  
  • Atrial Fibrillation, which is a condition that causes abnormal heart rhythms 
  • Reduced Kidney Function that ranges in severity — the condition is temporary (often clearing up in a few days or weeks), but some patients might have to go into dialysis in order to allow their kidneys to recover 
  • Short-term memory loss, a lack of focus, and other brain-related complications  

These are not the only complications associated with a Bypass Surgery, but there are the most common. Other complications not mentioned here might be a result of patients being associated with more risks (depending on their specific medical condition at the time of the surgery and perhaps as a result of certain situational risk factors.)  

Conclusion: What is the Most Common Complication After Bypass Surgery? 

As with most surgeries, certain risks can be expected. However, a lot of the risk factors can be easily identified after scheduling an appointment with a medical professional. So, if you are concerned as to your prospects, don’t be afraid to get help when needed. 


  1. Safaie, Naser, et al. “In-Hospital Complications of Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery in Patients Older Than 70 Years.” Journal of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Research, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4492179/. 
  2. NHS Choices, NHS, www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronary-artery-bypass-graft-cabg/risks/.