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What is open-heart surgery and Why is it used?

Updated: Feb 16, 2023

Open heart surgery or bypass surgery which the surgeon performs to repair a heart. Although being a complicated one, open-heart surgery is one of the most common surgeries done upon adults. Open heart surgery is quite a complex procedure, but there is hardly any chance of death. In the article below, we have shared a simple yet precise detail about this surgery.

What is an open heart surgery needed?

We perform open-heart surgery to repair a fault in the heart. This fault can arise by hardening of arteries and veins, blocking of the artery, etc. Hardening of arteries is the most common reason behind open-heart surgery: and it happens when fatty materials create plaque in the walls of the coronary arteries.

Our surgeons perform open-heart surgery to correct heart valves, damaged parts or implant objects in the heart. Heart replacement surgeries are also done with the help of open-heart surgery. Sometimes open heart surgery is performed on patients who had an unsuccessful angioplasty.

How is open-heart surgery performed?

A patient needs to get admitted to the hospital for a couple of days for the surgery. However, we follow some steps before open-heart surgery.

· Make sure you have discussed well with the surgeon regarding the whole procedure.

· Avoid heavy meals before the surgery.

· Remember to carry all your prescriptions and personal belongings to the hospital.

· Make sure you have done all the required medical tests before.

The procedure of the surgery

· Initially, anaesthesia will be given to the patients so that they doze off.

· The surgeon will then make an 8-10 Inch cut in the chest gently.

· As the heart is visible, we will connect the patient to a heart-lung bypass machine to help move the blood away from the heart during the procedure.

· A healthy vein, usually the saphenous vein from the leg, will be used to repair the broken one.

· As the procedure is done, the surgeon will stitch the incisions.

Recovery after an open heart surgery

As soon as the patient wakes up after the surgery, several breathing tubes will be attached, and the patient might feel some pain. There are computer-operated machines to monitor the condition of the heart, blood pressure, etc.

Apart from this,

· The incision site must be cleaned regularly and dried for better healing.

· Doctors generally advise patients to avoid taking long baths as it may affect the incision site.

· A 10-minute bath is more than enough after the patient goes home. However, a sponge bath is preferred.

· It is normal for patients to feel pain in the body after heart surgery. A considerable amount of pain will remain at the incision site, and there is nothing to worry about. If the pain increases and you feel muscle tensions, you must contact the doctor.

· Proper bed rest after the surgery is a must for the body to recover. The doctor prescribes s medicines that have to be taken timely.

· A proper bed with a suitable low pillow must be used to reduce strain.

· Light exercises as prescribed by the surgeon

· Patients must not lift heavy objects after the surgery.

Risks of an open heart surgery

The mortality rate for open-heart surgery is 12.3%. However, there can be many risks associated with open-heart surgery. Let us take a look.

· Chance of a chest infection.

· Heart attack or a stroke

· Kidney failure

· Memory loss

· Thromboembolism or blood clots.

· Difficulty in breathing

· Excessive blood loss

· Pneumonia

Nowadays, the techniques of open-heart surgery have developed and transformed. There are fewer risks of any complications after the surgery. Patients need to follow the procedures before and after the surgery for an easy operation. Doctors guide the patients throughout the process, and there is nothing to worry about with the surgery.

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