Third coronary artery bypass operations: Risks and costs

Bruce W. Lytle*, Jose L. Navia, Paul C. Taylor, Floyd D. Loop, William J E Potts, Geoffrey Suszkowski, Robert W. Stewart, Patrick M. McCarthy, Delos M. Cosgrove

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background. Third coronary artery bypass operations are technically difficult and are associated with increased risk. Methods. We reviewed the cases of 469 patients who had undergone a third isolated coronary artery bypass operation and used univariate and multivariate testing to examine the effect of preoperative and operative variables on outcome and costs. Results. The in-hospital mortality was 7.0% (33 patients). Advanced age and severe symptoms were found to increase risk (both p < 0.05): the mortality was 14% (n = 74) in patients 70 years old or older who had severe symptoms. However, the overall mortality for 1993 through 1995 was 4.3% (5/117) and only one death (1.3%) occurred among the 79 patients who were less than 70 years old. The late survival rate was 94%, 84%, and 66% at 1, 5, and 10 postoperative years, respectively, and predictors of decreased late survival were advanced age, abnormal left ventricular function, and diabetes (all p < 0.05). Again, age of 70 years or more was a predictor of a poor outcome. Only 52% of patients in that subgroup (including both early and late mortality) were alive 5 years after operation. Analysis of direct hospital costs showed that the mean costs of third coronary artery bypass operations were 21% higher than the mean costs of primary operations but that the elevation in the mean costs for third operations was related to very high costs in 4 patients. Sex was found to influence the cost of both primary and third operations (increased cost for women). Conclusions. Unfavorable outcomes after third coronary artery bypass operations have been associated with preoperatively definable variables, particularly age of 70 years or more. The in-hospital mortality in patients younger than 70 was low, and long-term survival in this group has been favorable. The increased hospital costs associated with third operations are related to high costs in only a few patients and have been unpredictable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1287-1295
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Surgery


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