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A Guide to Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery in the UAE

18 Oct, 2023

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Coronary artery bypass surgery, often referred to as CABG (Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting), is a medical procedure commonly used to treat coronary artery disease (CAD). In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), advanced healthcare facilities and highly skilled medical professionals offer world-class treatment options for individuals suffering from CAD. This article serves as a comprehensive guide to coronary artery bypass surgery in the UAE, providing an in-depth look at the procedure, its availability, and the factors to consider when seeking this life-saving surgery.

1. Understanding Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery (CABG)

1.1. What is CABG?

Coronary artery bypass surgery is a surgical procedure designed to restore proper blood flow to the heart muscles by bypassing clogged or narrowed coronary arteries. This is achieved by using blood vessels from elsewhere in the body, such as the leg, arm, or chest, to create new pathways for blood to reach the heart. CABG is typically performed when CAD reduces blood flow to the heart to a critical level, causing chest pain (angina) or the risk of a heart attack.

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1.2. Why is CABG Necessary?

CAD occurs when the coronary arteries, which supply oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscle, become narrowed or blocked due to the buildup of fatty deposits or plaque. This reduction in blood flow can lead to severe chest pain and potentially result in a heart attack. CABG is necessary when medications and lifestyle changes are not sufficient to alleviate the symptoms or prevent a heart attack.

3. Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery (CABG) Procedure

Coronary artery bypass surgery, often referred to as CABG, is a complex and life-saving surgical procedure that is performed to treat coronary artery disease (CAD) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) or anywhere else in the world. This section provides an in-depth look into the CABG procedure, outlining the steps and what patients can expect during their journey through this surgery.

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3.1. Preliminary Evaluation

Before undergoing CABG, a thorough evaluation is conducted to assess the patient's medical history, overall health, and the severity of their coronary artery disease. Diagnostic tests, including angiography and stress tests, are commonly used to pinpoint the location and extent of blockages in the coronary arteries. This pre-operative assessment guides the surgeon's decision-making process.

3.2 . Anesthesia

The procedure begins with the administration of anesthesia. General anesthesia is typically used to ensure the patient is completely unconscious and pain-free during the surgery. This ensures a safe and comfortable surgical experience.

3.3. Incision

Once the patient is under anesthesia, the surgeon makes an incision in the chest. The location of the incision may vary, but it is most commonly made down the middle of the chest (median sternotomy). In some cases, minimally invasive techniques may be used, which involve smaller incisions.

3.4. Bypass Graft Selection

To create new pathways for blood flow to the heart muscle, the surgeon harvests blood vessels from other parts of the patient's body. Common graft sources include the saphenous vein from the leg, the radial artery from the forearm, or the internal mammary artery from the chest wall. The choice of grafts depends on the patient's specific condition and the surgeon's judgment.

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3.5. Bypass Graft Attachment

The surgeon attaches the bypass grafts to the coronary arteries. This is typically done by suturing the grafts in place to ensure a secure connection and blood flow restoration. The grafts create detours around the blocked or narrowed coronary arteries, allowing blood to reach the heart muscle.

3.6. Heart-Lung Machine

During the procedure, the heart-lung machine may be used to temporarily take over the functions of the heart and lungs. This machine ensures oxygenated blood is supplied to the patient's body while the surgeon works on the heart. The heart-lung machine enables the surgeon to perform the procedure on a still and bloodless heart.

3.7. Monitoring and Testing

Throughout the CABG procedure, the patient's vital signs, including heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen levels, are closely monitored. Additionally, the surgical team may use various diagnostic tools, such as echocardiography, to ensure the bypass grafts are functioning correctly.

3.8. Closing the Chest

After the grafts are securely attached and the surgery is complete, the surgeon closes the chest incision with sutures or staples. A sterile dressing is applied to the wound to protect it from infection.

3.9. Recovery

Following CABG, the patient is moved to a recovery area, closely monitored as they wake from anesthesia. Patients usually spend a few days in the intensive care unit (ICU) before being transferred to a regular hospital room. The length of stay may vary depending on the patient's overall health and the complexity of the surgery.

3.10. Post-Operative Care

Recovery from CABG is a gradual process. Patients will receive post-operative care, including medications, physical therapy, and lifestyle recommendations. Cardiac rehabilitation programs are often recommended to help patients regain strength and reduce the risk of future heart problems.

4. Costs of CABG in the UAE

4.1. Factors Affecting Costs

The cost of CABG in the UAE can vary significantly based on several factors:

  • Type of Facility: Costs may differ between public and private hospitals. Private facilities often offer more personalized services but at a higher price point.
  • Surgeon's Experience: Surgeon fees can vary based on the level of experience and expertise. Highly specialized surgeons may charge more for their services.
  • Type of Procedure: The complexity of the procedure, whether it's a standard CABG or a minimally invasive approach, can impact costs.
  • Hospital Stay: The duration of your hospital stay, which can vary depending on your condition and recovery, will influence the overall expenses.
  • Additional Services: Costs may also include diagnostic tests, pre-operative consultations, post-operative care, and rehabilitation.

4.2. Cost Range

The cost of CABG in the UAE typically falls within the range of $10,000 to $30,000, depending on the factors mentioned above. It's important to request a detailed breakdown of expenses from your chosen healthcare provider to understand the complete financial commitment.

5. Financial Considerations

5.1. Insurance Coverage

If you have health insurance, check whether CABG is covered by your policy. Be aware of any deductibles, co-pays, or limitations. Contact your insurance provider for a clear understanding of what will be covered and what you'll be responsible for.

5.2. Self-Financing

If you're not covered by insurance or if there are significant out-of-pocket expenses, consider your financial options. You may need to self-finance the procedure, so it's vital to have a well-structured financial plan in place.

5.3. Medical Tourism Packages

Some hospitals and medical tourism companies in the UAE offer comprehensive packages that include the cost of CABG, accommodation, transportation, and post-operative care. These packages can provide financial convenience and peace of mind.

6. Additional Considerations

6.1. Quality of Care

While cost is an essential factor, never compromise on the quality of care. Ensure the hospital and medical professionals are accredited, experienced, and have a strong track record in cardiac surgery.

6.2. Communication and Informed Consent

Effective communication with your medical team is crucial. Discuss all aspects of the procedure, including costs, potential risks, and expected outcomes. Ensure you fully understand your financial obligations before proceeding.

6.3. Post-Operative Care

Recovery after CABG is a vital phase. Consider the cost and availability of post-operative care, including rehabilitation and follow-up consultations, when planning your budget.

7. Leading Hospital for Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery in the UAE

When considering coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), these top 5 hospitals are key players, renowned for their expertise in cardiac care and CABG procedures:

Saudi German Hospital Dubai, UAE

Key Information

Saudi German Hospital – Dubai is a prominent healthcare institution in the United Arab Emirates. It is part of the Saudi German Hospitals Group, the largest private hospitals group in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Since its inception in March 2012, this hospital has established itself as a major tertiary care facility in Dubai and the UAE, offering a wide range of medical services with the highest international standards. With 300 beds, SGH Dubai caters to various specialties, sub-specialties, and critical care services.


  • Patient-Centered Care: Achieved Gold certification for Patient Centered Care Excellence from Planetree International-USA.
  • Rehabilitation Excellence: SGH Dubai's Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Center holds CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) International accreditation.
  • Accreditations: Accredited by JCI (Joint Commission International), CAP (College of American Pathologists), and ISO 14001. Additionally, it holds Clinical Care Program Certification (CCPC) for Acute Myocardial Infarction.
  • Comprehensive Outpatient Department: Offers outpatient services covering over 35 specialties with extended hours, from 8 am to 8 pm.
  • Trauma Services: The first private hospital in Dubai and the UAE to receive trauma cases with a Dubai Ambulance office located within the hospital facility.
  • Fully Equipped Laboratory: Features a CAP accredited laboratory for diagnostic services.
  • Medical Tourism: Facilitates medical tourism by offering comprehensive packages that include medical care, local accommodation, and flight arrangements. Multilingual staff ensures international patients feel at home.

7.1. Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery (CABG)

Saudi German Hospital Dubai is equipped to perform a range of medical procedures, including Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery (CABG). The hospital's surgical department, staffed with experienced surgeons, provides CABG as part of its cardiac care services.

Top Doctors

Here are some of the leading doctors at Saudi German Hospital Dubai:

These doctors, among others, contribute to the hospital's commitment to providing high-quality healthcare services.

8. Availability and Quality of CABG in the UAE

8.1. Healthcare Infrastructure in the UAE

The UAE boasts a rapidly growing healthcare sector that rivals some of the world's best. Renowned for its state-of-the-art medical facilities and internationally trained healthcare professionals, the country has become a medical tourism hub. Patients from around the world, including those seeking CABG, often choose the UAE for treatment.

8.2. Expertise in Cardiac Surgery

In the UAE, cardiac surgery is a highly specialized field. Leading hospitals in the region, such as Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi and Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, have internationally recognized cardiac surgery departments. Surgeons in the UAE are typically board-certified and often hold memberships in prestigious international medical organizations.

8.3. Advanced Medical Technology

The UAE's commitment to cutting-edge technology and world-class infrastructure ensures that CABG procedures are conducted with precision and safety. Minimally invasive techniques, including robot-assisted surgeries, are increasingly employed, leading to reduced recovery times and minimal scarring.

9. Factors to Consider When Seeking CABG in the UAE

9.1. Financial Considerations

While the UAE offers high-quality healthcare services, it's essential to consider the cost of CABG. The procedure can be expensive, so ensure you have appropriate insurance coverage or financial means to cover the expenses.

9.2. Doctor-Patient Communication

Effective communication with your cardiac surgeon is critical. It's advisable to discuss the procedure, potential risks, and expected outcomes in detail. Clear and open dialogue will help you make informed decisions about your treatment.

9.3. Post-Operative Care

Recovery after CABG is crucial for a successful outcome. Inquire about the post-operative care available, rehabilitation programs, and necessary lifestyle adjustments. Complying with medical recommendations is essential for a full recovery.

10. Medical Tourism in the UAE

The UAE is a well-recognized destination for medical tourism, and cardiac surgery, including CABG, plays a significant role in this industry. Patients from around the world come to the UAE for its excellent medical facilities and the exceptional quality of healthcare services. This reflects the trust that global patients have in the country's medical expertise and infrastructure.

10.1. Cultural Sensitivity and Multilingual Staff

One of the notable aspects of seeking CABG in the UAE is the cultural sensitivity and the presence of multilingual staff. The healthcare system is designed to accommodate patients from diverse backgrounds. Medical professionals in the UAE are trained to respect the cultural and religious preferences of patients, ensuring a comfortable and inclusive healthcare experience.

10.2. Accessible Travel Options

The UAE's strategic geographical location makes it easily accessible to patients from Europe, Asia, Africa, and beyond. Major international airports and excellent connectivity allow for hassle-free travel to and from the UAE. This convenience is especially beneficial for patients and their families who may need to travel for the surgery.

11. Future Trends in CABG in the UAE

The UAE is committed to staying at the forefront of healthcare innovation, including cardiac surgery. The country continues to invest in research and development to improve treatment outcomes, reduce recovery times, and enhance patient experiences.

1. Robotic-Assisted CABG

One exciting trend is the increasing adoption of robotic-assisted CABG. Robotic systems allow for more precise and minimally invasive surgeries, reducing pain, scarring, and recovery time for patients. These technologies are likely to become more common in the UAE's healthcare system.

2. Personalized Medicine

Advancements in genetics and precision medicine are also influencing CABG procedures in the UAE. Tailoring treatments to an individual's unique genetic makeup and risk factors can enhance the effectiveness and outcomes of CABG.

Final Thoughts

Coronary artery bypass surgery is a complex and life-saving procedure that involves meticulous planning, skilled surgical techniques, and thorough post-operative care. Patients in the UAE can rest assured that their healthcare providers are equipped with the expertise and advanced technology necessary to perform successful CABG procedures. Understanding the steps of the surgery and the recovery process can help patients and their families navigate this critical journey with confidence and optimism for a healthier heart.

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CABG is a surgical procedure that involves creating new pathways for blood to flow around blocked or narrowed coronary arteries, allowing improved blood supply to the heart muscle