Open-heart Surgery - What You Need to Know?

By Medical Expert Team

Feb 12 , 2018 | 4 min read

It is one of the most significant life-saving surgeries performed nowadays. With the advent of modern technology it has a usual risk of 1% to 5 % which is as good as any other surgery performed today .In this type of surgery, heart surgeons open the chest of the patient and perform surgery on the heart’s internal structures.

Thanks to the introduction of technologically advanced heart surgery techniques, some methods have evolved such as minimally invasive heart surgery (MICS) where incisions are substantially smaller , less traumatic and cosmetically better .

People suffering from serious heart conditions such as heart failure and heart attack are often recommended an open-heart surgery from a reputed hospital. Though the surgery is often called as a ‘bypass surgery’, it also performed to treat various health issues in the heart.

Also Read about Robotic Heart Surgery

Below is a brief discussion on what you need to know about open-heart surgery.

Why is it needed?

Open-heart surgery is mostly done to treat people suffering from coronary artery disease which predicts heart attack. However, there are also some other conditions where a heart surgery is required, including:

  • Trouble in the valves
  • Problems in the main vessel of the heart
  • Replacement of damaged heart with a donor heart

What are the Different Types of Open-heart Surgeries?

Depending on the health issues, there are different types of open-heart surgeries. Some of the common ones include:

  • Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting: It is the most common type of heart surgery and is performed to provide alternate routes of blood supply to heart. The healthy artery is usually taken from chest, arms or legs.
  • Heart Valve Repair or Replacement: This heart valve surgery is performed to either repair the valve or replace it with a biological valve or metallic valve.
  • Arrhythmia Treatment: Arrhythmia is a condition where the heart does not beat in a regular rhythm. A pacemaker or an ICD are placed inside the body during surgery to overcome irregularity of the heart beats. Arrhythmia ablation treatments are now available with cutting edge technology and expert surgeons.
  • Heart Transplant: This surgery treats advanced heart failure by replacing the damaged heart with a healthy heart from a deceased donor.

  What Happens Before an Open-heart Surgery?

The first and foremost thing is to discuss the doubts and plan the surgery with the doctors. However, this is not possible in cases where immediate heart surgery is needed. For instance, in case a person has been diagnosed with the heart attack symptoms due to blocked coronary arteries, doctors need to perform heart bypass surgery to save a life.

Some of the steps a patient is required to take to increase the success of the surgery include - taking a balanced diet, quitting smoking and exercising. The patient is also required to go through several lab tests including blood tests.

On the day of surgery, the patient has to undergo a number of tests including an EKG (electrocardiogram), chest X-ray, and blood tests. The skin of the patient is also sterilized to reduce the risk of any infection. The surgery is performed with general anaesthesia and the patient is kept in the ICU for 1-2 days before being shifted to the nursing ward.

What Happens During Open-heart Surgery?

In traditional open-heart surgery, the surgeons make a 6 to 8 inch cut in the middle of the chest through the breastbone using a surgical blade. Once the heart is visible, the surgeons begin the surgery. In case of a coronary artery bypass surgery, the surgeons provide alternate routes of blood supply via conduits (vessels) harvested using microscopic surgical instruments.Occasionally in complex and difficult case scenarios surgeons also use a heart-lung bypass machine during the surgery. This machine temporarily takes over the functions of the heart during the surgery.

After the surgery, surgeons use wire sutures to close the breastbone. The incision is then stitched carefully. The surgery usually takes around 3 to 6 hours depending on the complexity.

What to Expect After the Surgery?

Open-heart surgery is a major operation, and hence it requires close and careful monitoring once it is performed. The patient is usually shifted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for proper care. The overall recovery may take a few weeks. During the recovery period, the patient needs to follow the instructions given by the doctors and take the prescribed medicines regularly. In many cases, the doctors also recommend the patient to participate in cardiac rehabilitation for a better and faster recovery.

A successful open-heart surgery not just treats this life-threatening condition, but also restores the health of the patient. Hence, to ensure a successful surgery, one should always look for the best hospitals. We, at Max Healthcare, are where your search for the best heart surgeons in Delhi will find its success. With our cutting-edge technology and an esteemed team of heart surgeons, we strive hard to offer the best treatment to our patients. Today with the technology we can provide not only prolonged life but also an active and healthy lifestyle.

Check Out: Everything You Should Know About the Types of Heart Attacks

Written and Verified by:

Medical Expert Team

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