What Is Brain Bypass Surgery?

What Is Brain Bypass Surgery?

Doctors perform brain bypass surgery for regulating uninterrupted blood flow in brain. In general term cerebral bypass surgery is same for brain as coronary bypass is for heart. Through this surgery doctors try to connect blood vessel preset outside the brain with the vessels inside the brain for regulating uninterrupted blood flow around blocked artery. The objective of performing this brain surgery is to restore blood in brain for preventing stroke.

Blood acts as a carrier for transferring oxygen and required nutrients to blood. This is done with the help of four arteries, they are right vertebral arteries, left vertebral arteries, left carotid arteries and right carotid arteries. Any interruption in the flow of blood leads to brain dysfunctioning. Improper supply of oxygen or blood can cause TIA i.e. transient ischemic attacks or stroke that can lead to even death of an individual. In cerebral artery bypass surgery, doctors divert flow of blood around the blocked artery so improving the smooth blood and oxygen flow in brain. Depending on the location of blockage there are various types of bypass surgery performed. Broadly, bypass surgery are of two types:

In the first type, vessel graft is used by harvested from other area of the body. This is then deeply connected from both sides i.e. above and below the artery for rerouted blood flow via graft. Doctors prefer either saphenous vein present in legs or ulnar arteries present in arms as graft. A small insertion is made in the body for implanting graft.

In the second type, instead of using a graft an artery is taken from a healthy donor. This type of bypass is preferred when the arteries have narrowed in size and are unable to pass the required blood in the brain.

What Is Brain Bypass Surgery?

Effective Brain Bypass Surgery

Cerebral bypass can be very effective in eliminating the possibility of stroke in the below mentioned conditions:

Moyamoya – In this problem the internal carotid arteries starts to narrow leading to either multiple hemorrhages or strokes. In order to compensate against the narrowing arteries, brain starts to create multiple collateral blood vessels for delivering oxygen rich blood to brain. Through the bypass surgery blood can be restored in the brain, which helps in preventing stroke in future.

Aneurysm – In this condition ballooning of an artery wall occurs. In certain cases aneurysm cannot be cured by surgical clipping. In this case, doctor sacrifice the parent artery and the interrupted blood flow can easily treated.

Skull Tumor: a tumor can grow where the major vessels enter the skull and surround or invade the artery. Removing the tumor may require sacrificing the encased artery and bypassing the blood flow.

Who Performs The Brain Bypass Surgery?

The brain bypass surgery is performed only by a certified neurosurgeon. Some surgeons undergo special training for performing the cerebrovascular surgery, hence; confirm with the doctor whether he or she is a trained cerebrovascular surgeon or not.

Preparation Before Brain Bypass Surgery

Surgeons prescribe a series to tests before performing the brain bypass surgery to get a clear idea about the actual condition of the patient.

Angiography is performed to identifying the location for getting a potential graft (legs or arms).

Angiography is also performed for of the brain vessels to identify the blockage and the most appropriate place for connecting the graft.

Balloon test is performed to know whether one artery can be left blocked in way that it does not affect the normal blood flaw in brain. In this a balloon is inflated in the body to temporary stop the flow of blood, further the condition of the patient is monitored. In a regular interval hand & leg movements, facial expression, language, memory and so on is monitored. If the collateral blood vessels are in strong condition then the other arteries continue to maintain the required amount of blood in the brain for normal functioning. The balloon is left inside the body for almost thirty minutes, later it is removed. If the patient experience difficulty in speech or language then the balloon is immediately removed from the body.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:January 8, 2020

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