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What is the Most Difficult Heart Surgery?

Heart disease is one of the top health concerns in Bangalore. The cardiac team performs numerous heart surgeries in this Indian city every year, including heart transplants, closed and open-heart procedures.

The most complex procedures in the top heart surgery hospital in Bangalore are open-heart surgeries, as they usually require the use of the cardiopulmonary bypass technique. There are many ways to treat heart disease, but heart bypass surgery is the most effective one, particularly in addressing blocked arteries.

What is heart bypass surgery?

Also known as coronary bypass surgery, this difficult procedure involves a considerable amount of preparation from the patient as well as recovery time. Considering that it is an open-heart procedure and requires administering general anesthesia, the bypass comes with risks, particularly when the operation has to stop the heart from beating.

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But, the advances in medical technology have brought about a significant drop in complications. It means those who undergo heart bypass surgery are less likely to experience serious complications.

While the operation is mostly well-planned, some circumstances require an emergency heart bypass procedure. This surgery is effective and safe, lowering the risk of a heart attack occurring. It can also help alleviate symptoms of CAD (coronary artery disease) like difficulty in breathing and severe chest pain.

Why do you need coronary bypass surgery?

If your coronary arteries are damaged, or the blood flow becomes restricted, this causes the heart to function improperly, which can result in heart failure. Together with your cardiologist, heart bypass surgery is the best treatment for you if:

  • When angioplasty, which is a procedure that inserts and inflates a small balloon temporarily in the artery to widen it, cannot treat your artery blockage.
  • When the left ventricle (the main pumping chamber) of your heart is not working properly.
  • The left main artery of your heart that supplies most blood to your left ventricle is severely damaged or narrowed.
  • You have multiple damaged coronary arteries.
  • Several of your arteries have narrowed, impacting the supply of blood in the heart muscle. This can cause serious chest pain and insufficient muscle blood during light physical activity or exercise.

If your body does not respond to other medical treatments or you have a heart attack, these emergency situations may also demand coronary bypass surgery.

What happens during the procedure?

A heart bypass surgery typically involves using general anesthesia, and the whole procedure can last three to six hours. The location of the blockages and damages in your heart and their severity determines how many bypasses you would need.

The surgeon will insert a breathing tube that is attached to a ventilator into your mouth. The tube will breathe for you during and after the surgical procedure. In general, heart bypass surgeries involve an incision in the chest, as a machine helps keep oxygen and blood flowing through the body.

This refers to an on-pump coronary bypass technique, in which the surgeon exposes the heart by cutting the chest down to the breastbone and opening the rib cage wide. The heart is stopped temporarily, and the heart-lung equipment takes over the blood circulation in the body.

The surgeon removes a part of the healthy blood vessels and attaches it to the blocked artery to redirect the flow of blood around the damaged artery. This process is called grafting.

When the surgeon finishes the graft, they will use wires to stitch and close the chest bone, which stays within the body as the bone heals. The surgeon will bring back your normal heartbeat and disconnect the heart-lung machine from your body.

A surgeon from the top heart surgery hospital in Bangalore may perform other surgical procedures, such as:

Minimally invasive surgery. In this procedure, the surgeon usually uses video imaging and robotics to aid in the operation. The bypass is done via tiny incisions in your chest. Minimally invasive surgery has some variations that are referred to as keyhole surgery or port-access surgery.

Beating-heart surgery (Off-pump). As the name suggests, the surgeon performs the operation while the heart is beating. This requires using a special machine that helps stabilize the affected section of the heart.

This off-pump surgery is quite complex as the heart continues to move. While also effective, this is not an option that is suitable for everyone. After heart bypass surgery, you will feel better and free of symptoms for up to 10-15 years.

Your long-term results will also depend on your medications that can help prevent lower blood pressure, blood clots, and lower cholesterol. Moreover, it is vital to adopt a healthy lifestyle such as maintain an ideal weight, quit smoking, exercising, and managing stress.

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