When an individual experience any kinds of problems related to heart, the cardiologist after diagnosing the patient initially gives certain medications. In case the medications do not give the desired outcome then the cardiologist may suggest getting a surgery done. Therefore, it can be said that surgery is perhaps the last option available when no other treatments or therapies work. Heart surgery is usually carried out by the experienced cardiac surgeons in best heart surgery hospital in India that offers all types of advanced facilities so that the patient can recover fast. Heart surgery is done in adults as well as children and based on the type of surgery, age of the patient and certain other factors the recovery period varies.
An overview on heart surgery
The most common type of heart surgery in adults is CABG or coronary artery bypass grafting. During CABG, a healthy vein or artery from the body is grafted or connected to a blocked coronary artery. The vein or artery bypasses the blocked portion of the coronary artery which creates a new passageway for oxygen rich blood to flow. This coronary artery bypass grafting can alleviate chest pain and may reduce the risk of having a heart attack.
The cardiologist may also use heart surgery to:
- Repair damaged or abnormal structures in the heart
- Replace or repair heart valves, which control blood flow through the heart
- Instill medical devices that assist control the heartbeat or support blood flow and heart function
Apart from this, there is traditional heart surgery which is also referred to as open heart surgery which is performed by opening the chest wall to operate on the heart. Off-pump or beating heart is another type of heart surgery which is same like traditional open-heart surgery as the chest bone is opened to get access to the heart. With the advancement of technology, surgeons these days do small incisions between the ribs and this is referred to as minimally invasive heart surgery. This type of heart surgery minimizes risk and speeds up the recovery time.
The outcome of heart surgery in most cases is satisfactory as it usually helps to reduce symptoms, enhance quality of life as well as enhance the chances of survival. However, the outcome of the surgery may vary depending on several other factors.
Common types of heart surgery
Heart Valve Repair or Replacement: In order to ensure that the heart is in excellent working condition, it is vital that the blood flows only in one direction. This can be made possible by the valve of the heart. However any issue to these valves can cause serious issues to the individual and this can be fixed by a surgical procedure. Cardiac surgeons can fix this either by repairing the valve or replacing it with a biological or man-made valve.
Heart Transplant: This is done to remove a person’s unhealthy heart and replace it with a healthy heart from a dead donor. Usually, the heart transplants are done on patients who have end-stage heart failure. Heart failure is basically a condition where the heart becomes weak and thus it cannot pump adequate blood to meet the needs of the body.
Trans myocardial Laser Revascularization: This surgery is done to treat angina. It is usually done when no other treatments or therapies work. During TMR, the cardiac surgeon makes small channels through the heart muscle and into the heart’s lower left chamber.
Aneurysm Repair: Aneurysm is a balloon like protuberance which usually occurs when the artery wall weakens. Over time, an aneurysm can develop and rupture and this can become hazardous as bleeding can occur within the body. This can be repaired through a surgical procedure in which the weak section of the artery is fixed with a graft or patch.
Cardiac surgeons use various approaches to operate on the heart, which may include off-pump heart surgery, open-heart surgery, and minimally invasive heart surgery. The surgical approach is chosen based on the general health, heart problem, and other factors of the patient.
Who Needs Heart Surgery?
Heart surgery is used to treat a number of heart problems. For instance, it is used to:
- Repair heart valves that do not work well
- Treat heart failure as well as coronary heart disease
- Implant medical devices
- Control abnormal heart rhythms
In case treatments such as medicines, lifestyle changes, and medical processes have not worked or cannot be used for the patient then heart surgery is an ideal option available.
Who will decide whether a patient requires a heart surgery?
The cardiologist, primary care doctor and a cardiothoracic surgeon will work along with the client to decide whether he or she needs a heart surgery. While a cardiologist specializes in diagnosing the heart issues and treating heart problems, the cardiothoracic surgeon specializes in surgery on the lungs and heart. The doctors will discuss with the patient and ask them to get certain tests done. The doctors will then discuss the test results with the patient and help in making decisions about the surgery.
Common diagnostic tests
Diagnostic tests which are usually prescribed by the cardiologist to find out the exact problem of the heart include Echocardiography, Electrocardiogram or EKG, Stress test, Chest X Ray, Coronary Angiography, Cardiac Computed Tomography Scan and Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging etc.
What to expect after heart surgery?
The patient may need to spend a day or more in the intensive care unit of the hospital depending on the type of heart surgery they have. An IV or intravenous needle might be inserted in a blood vessel in the patient’s chest or arm to give fluids. Extra oxygen may also be administered to the patient through nasal prongs or face mask. After the patient leaves ICU, he or she is admitted in the general ward where the doctors keep a close watch on the heart rate, blood pressure breathing etc. Once all the parameters look perfect the patient is discharged.