Answer: The surgery can improve a patient’s quality of life and in certain cases, quantity of life. Dysfunction of the heart most commonly presents as chest pain, but can also present as shortness of breath or fatigue. A cardiac surgeon reviews the result of a catheterization to see if blocked arteries are present. This catheterization usually takes place after an abnormal stress test, but can be recommended based on history of symptoms alone. The final recommendation for surgery compares the expected results among medical management, angioplasty (balloons and stents) and surgery. Surgeons make recommendations – the final decision for surgery is always made by the patient.