Recovering From Keyhole CABG For Multiple Blockages – A Patient’s Story

golf swing

For Roy Dell, everyday life was enjoying time in his garden, playing golf, and even “flying as a glider pilot around the world”. However, after his pulse rate dropped to 40 around 2 years ago, he had a pacemaker fitted to generate a more regular beat. While this helped to regain a healthier heart rate, Roy still had concerns about his heart health, so to ease his mind, the surgeon recommended a scan and stress test. 12 months on and no sign of a scan from the NHS, Roy took matters into his own hands and sought private medical help.

Following his scan from a professional, medical healthcare provider, Roy was informed of blockages in the blood vessels of his heart. “I found out that one of the blood vessels was in fact blocked to 90% capacity, and two others were blocked to 50%”. It was only natural for him to feel worried, particularly when he was advised that stents couldn’t be fitted and that he could be waiting 12 months or longer for a bypass with the NHS. It was then that he decided to search online for answers and contact The Keyhole Heart Clinic.

Speedy Medical Advice From The Keyhole Heart Clinic

Roy’s interest in The Keyhole Heart Clinic stemmed from his worry about having his breastbone broken and the recovery after CABG surgery. However, with the keyhole procedure, there would be no need to cut through the breastbone. With that in mind, he contacted the clinic and soon after, he had a video consultation with Mr. Inderpaul Birdi. Roy had sent his test results beforehand, so Mr. Birdi knew in advance the kind of problems he had been having. From this video heart screening, Mr. Birdi was able to recommend keyhole CABG surgery and talk through the procedure, completely reassuring Roy and answering any questions he had.

What Is Keyhole CABG Surgery?

Keyhole CABG surgery can be used to bypass one or more blockages in the heart arteries through a small cut placed between the ribs over the left side of the chest. The procedure does not involve opening the breastbone. An artery called the left internal mammary artery is mobilised through the keyhole and placed on to the major artery on the front of the heart called the left anterior descending (LAD) artery of the heart.  We are not limited to just being able to bypass blockages on the front of the heart. We can perform keyhole bypass to blockages on the back and the undersurface of the heart unlike most other keyhole teams. To do this we can also mobilise the radial artery from the forearm, or vein from the leg by keyhole, which can be used to bypass the other blockages in the heart arteries if you need more than the LAD artery bypassed.

As we do not open the breastbone during the keyhole coronary artery bypass graft procedure, you are more likely to get your life back on track much sooner. It only requires seven days to heal, with no risk of bone infection with minimal scarring. As Roy was anxious about having his breastbone cut, our CABG surgery sounded really appealing to him.

There are several reasons why we favour this new procedure over the traditional breaking of the breastbone, and they include:

  • Faster healing time, allowing patients to resume normal life after around a week
  • Less muscle and tissue damage, resulting in less scarring
  • Much less pain
  • Reduced surgical trauma
  • Less risk of wound infections
  • Less bleeding

If you wish to know more about multi-vessel keyhole coronary bypass please feel free to contact us for a recommendation on the best course of action for your coronary artery disease.

Roy’s CABG Surgery & Recovery

Roy said, “within 2 weeks of my video consultation, I travelled down to London for my operation on March 16th 2021. I felt welcomed and relaxed by the staff at the clinic, and Mr. Birdi was on hand to provide further reassurance. Everything went incredibly well, and Mr. Birdi was even able to access the blocked artery that led to the back of the heart, which otherwise would have needed to be corrected with stents. There were no complications or issues, and I was able to travel back home to York with a friend a week later.”

6 weeks after his operation, Roy was already back to enjoying some of his regular activities. He returned to golf, playing 9 holes at first, and now back to the full 18 holes. He also re-joined the gliding club and is enjoying flying again. His recovery after CABG surgery has been smooth sailing and positive, and Roy even said “he almost forgets he even had surgery”! Of course, Mr. Birdi has kept in contact to monitor his CABG recovery, but both are really pleased with the results. In fact, Roy has since recommended The Keyhole Heart Clinic’s services to a friend.

Roy said, “I’m usually anxious in healthcare scenarios, but the whole team were really supportive and reassuring. I no longer have a fear of heart attacks, and I can’t thank Mr. Birdi and his staff enough.”


For more information on our coronary artery bypass graft procedures, please get in touch.

Have Any Questions?
Get in touch with our expert team at The Keyhole Heart Clinic.