Open Heart Surgery – an overview
As the name suggests, open-heart surgery is a type of cardiac surgery that requires the chest of the person to cut open and the cardiac surgeon performs surgery on the muscle, valve, or artery of the heart. Open heart surgery can be done for various heart function problems and is generally prescribed when the problem of the patient cannot be removed or treated in a minimally invasive way. CABG or Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting is the most common open-heart surgery done in adults, where the blocked vein or artery is grafted with a healthy artery, thus allows the grafted artery to ‘bypass’ the blocked artery, helping in regaining the normal blood circulation.
When it is required
When minimally invasive procedures cannot completely treat heart problems, cardiac surgeons may go for open-heart surgery. Problems like arrhythmia, congenital heart defects like atrial septal defect ( hole in the heart ), hypoplastic left heart syndrome (underdeveloped heart structure), coronary artery disease, heart failure, heart valve disease can be treated with open-heart surgery. Open heart surgery is also done to repair or replace heart valves, repair damaged or abnormal areas of the heart, implant medical devices like a pacemaker or implantable cardiovascular defibrillators, and replace a damaged heart with a donated heart or heart transplant.
How it is done
Generally, a 7-10 days hospital stay is required for open-heart surgery. The length of the surgery depends on the type of procedure and the condition of the patient’s health. To start with the surgery, the cardiac surgeon makes a six-to-eight-inch incision along with the middle of the chest. The team requires a heart-lung machine or CPB (CardioPulmonary Bypass) Machine during the surgery which helps to bypass the blood circulation of the human heart and the human heart stops beating. The CPB machine takes over the heart’s pumping action and the surgeon can operate on the human heart. This surgery is also called on-pump surgery. Open heart surgery can also be performed by an off-pump when the surgical team uses some device to steady the heart and the cardiac surgeon can perform the procedure.
After the surgery
Open heart surgery is a major procedure and immediate post-operative care is very much required. Common post-surgery complications:
· Depression, anxiety, stress
· Loss of appetite
· Muscle pain
· Pain, bruise, swellings in the surgery site
Open Heart surgery risk factors
Like all major surgeries, open heart surgery has risks. Patients with premorbid conditions like diabetes, obesity, COPD have a greater risk of chest wound infection. There are situations when the patient might experience a heart attack, stroke, lung, or kidney failure during or after surgery. Having said that, the success rate of open-heart surgery is huge. In India, it accounts for almost 98% success rate.
Alternative to open-heart surgery
Medical advancements have skyrocketed and which once required open-heart surgery, today the medical fraternity has found safer alternatives using minimally invasive heart surgeries. Procedures like TAVR (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement), Coronary Angioplasty, VATS (Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery), Robot-assisted surgery of cardiac tumor, atrial fibrillation, septal defects (hole in the heart), etc.
Open heart surgery is a lifesaving procedure but it also has its own risk and is considered to be one of the major surgeries. Aakash Healthcare Super Speciality Hospital can be considered one of the best hospitals for heart surgery in Delhi, Dwarka , and has one of the best cardiac surgeons in Delhi. The cardiology department at Aakash Healthcare comprises state-of-the-art technologies, advanced procedural equipment and machinery, and affordable treatment plans. It offers comprehensive solutions for the management of cardiac/heart-related problems including cardiac surgery at affordable cost in Delhi.
Dr. Amrish Kumar
Cardio Thoracic and Vascular surgery