A cerebral artery bypass procedure is much like a cardiac bypass procedure. But where a cardiac bypass procedure is done on an artery that feeds the heart, a cerebral artery bypass procedure is done on an artery in the brain.
An artery bypass procedure is done to treat severe cerebral artery stenosis. Bypass surgery is done when the narrowing of the artery in the brain is either completely blocked or nearly completely blocked. In this situation, angioplasty and stenting are not the best options.
The Cerebral Artery Bypass Procedure
A cerebral artery bypass procedure uses either a small artery from the scalp or a vein from the leg to create a path around the blocked section of the cerebral artery.
The replacement blood vessel is connected from the carotid artery in the neck and tunneled under the skin to connect to the narrowed artery beyond the blocked point. This gives that section of the brain greater blood flow.
This procedure is known as an extra-cranial, intra-cranial (EC-IC) bypass.