Treating blocked heart arteries through cardiac bypass surgery has been one of the most effective surgical procedures used by the cardiac surgeons. With the advent of medical sciences, the surgery itself has witnessed various transformations in its procedure.
Most of these surgeries are performed traditionally, i.e. by making a 6 to 8-inch incision in the chest while using a heart-lung machine that takes over the function of the heart. However, new procedures like beating heart bypass surgery are also becoming a popular treatment option. Let us know more about this surgery and look at how it has proved to be beneficial in the field of cardiology.
What is a Beating Heart Bypass Surgery?
Also known as off-pump coronary artery bypass, it is a type of surgery performed to treat coronary heart diseases. The main highlight of this cardiac bypass surgery is that it is performed without cardiopulmonary bypass (heart-lung machine). This means that the heart continues to beat while the doctors perform the heart bypass surgery procedure. Surgeons use devices called stabilisers to stabilise the part of the heart needed to be bypassed.
This method was introduced to reduce the complications and side effects that occur after a traditional cardiac bypass surgery. Some of the complications include stroke, temporary memory loss and bleeding among others. Moreover, as per the research, off-pump surgery also reduces recovery time and the need for blood transfusion.
What Happens in Beating Heart Bypass Surgery?
Before the Surgery
To ensure that the patient is an ideal candidate for beating heart bypass surgery, the doctors perform various tests which include chest X-Rays, blood tests, electrocardiogram (ECG) and coronary angiogram. It is only after evaluating the results of these tests that doctors give the go-ahead to beating heart cardiac bypass surgery procedure.
Before the surgery, the patient is also acquainted with the surgery team and given information about the heart bypass surgery procedure. Our team of cardiac surgeons at Max Healthcare understands the concerns and doubts that can arise in a patient’s mind and hence are ever-ready to guide them through the procedure.
During the Surgery
The patient is given general anaesthesia and a breathing tube at the beginning of the surgery. Unlike the traditional cardiac bypass surgery, no heart-lung machine is used, and the heart continues to beat during the procedure. The surgeons make an incision, and the breastbone is divided to access the heart. In case of minimally invasive cardiac surgery, the surgeon makes a small incision.
The surgeons harvest veins or arteries from other parts of the body for grafts. When the surgeons attach the grafts, they use a stabilization device to keep the small section of the heart still. At times, a heart positioner is also used. Once the grafting is done, the surgeons sew the incision together. This surgery may last for about three to six hours depending on the number of arteries that need to be treated.
After the Surgery
Once the surgery is complete, the patient is shifted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for close monitoring and observation. If the doctors find the condition stabilized, they shift the patient to another unit for some time until the discharge. As compared to the traditional cardiac bypass surgery, beating heart bypass surgery leads to a shorter hospital stay.
At the time of discharge, we at Max Healthcare, also guide our patients about the preventive measures and healthy lifestyle changes that can improve their recovery rate effectively.