A coronary bypass surgery on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh began on Saturday during which doctors will replace three older grafts performed on him in 1990. The surgery on the 76 year old leader at AIIMS is understood to have begun at around 7 AM and is expected to last for several hours, hospital sources said. Singh, who has a history of heart ailments which have included a bypass surgery 18 years ago and an angioplasty six years ago, was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi on Friday.

During the surgery, doctors from the Mumbai based Asian Heart Institute (AHI) and AIIMS will try to develop an alternate route for the supply of blood by sidelining the blocked part using graft of arteries and vessels derived from other parts of body.

A team of 11 doctors from AHI led by Dr Ramakant Panda, a highly reputed cardiac surgeon, were performing the surgery on Singh, who has been complaining of fatigue and signs of chest pain in recent days. He was then subjected to tests which indicated blockages. The coronary artery bypass surgery is performed when arteries get blocked and procedures like angioplasty or medicines fail to clear the blockage.

Surgeons using blood vessels from some other parts of body will create an alternate route by sidelining the blocked part to carry blood. The surgery was being undertaken at operation theatre number five at AIIMS.

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