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January 17 at 8:00 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

The Process and Recovery of Open Heart Bypass Surgery

By drsuneetsingh More Blogs by This Author

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Coronary bypass surgery is a procedure to treat coronary artery diseases. It involves redirecting the flow if blood around the section of blocked artery in the heart. The surgical procedure aims to improve blood flow to the heart muscle. In this surgery, a healthy blood vessel is taken from the leg, arm or chest of the patient and connected beyond the blocked arteries.

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Although coronary bypass surgery is not a cure for coronary artery disease or atherosclerosis, it can ease the symptoms, such as chest pain, shortness of breath and others. In some cases, this surgical procedure may improve heart functions and reduce the risk of death due to the heart disease.

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A number of people from all over the world travel to India for heart surgery. This is mainly attributed to the advanced medical facilities, experienced cardiologists and low heart bypass surgery cost in India. Patients from abroad are able to save 40-60% on the total cost for the same treatment in comparison to other countries in the west.

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Procedure

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Coronary bypass surgery is typically performed as an open-heart surgery, which means that the chest is cut open by the surgeon to access the heart. The surgery can be performed in two ways: on-pump or off-pump surgery.

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On-pump heart surgery involves the use of a heart-lung machine to circulate blood and breathe for the body during the operation. The machine allows the surgeon to stop the heart, which makes it easier to perform the operation.

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Off-pump surgery is also known as beating heart surgery as this procedure is performed while the heart is still beating and does not use the heart-lung machine.

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Coronary bypass surgery lasts for about three to six hours and is performed using general anaesthesia. A number of bypasses may be performed, depending on the location and severity of blockage in the heart.

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Patient is given general anaesthesia and a breathing tube is inserted through the mouth, which is attached to a ventilator. This helps patient breathe during and immediately after the surgery.

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The surgeon makes a long incision on the chest while a heart-lung machine circulates blood and oxygen through your body, in case of on-pump coronary bypass surgery.

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The surgeon then cuts down the centre of the chest, along the breastbone (sternum) and then spreads open the rib cage to expose the patients heart. After opening the chest, the heart is temporarily stopped using medication and then a heart-lung machine is used to circulate blood to the body.

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The surgeon removes a section of healthy blood vessel, usually from the inside of the chest wall or lower leg, and attaches the ends of the vessel to the blocked artery. This helps redirect the flow of blood around the narrowed part of the diseased artery.

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In an Off-pump or beating-heart surgery, the surgeon uses special equipments to stabilize the area of the beating heart that requires surgery. This is a more challenging surgery as the heart is still moving/beating. Therefore, this surgery is not an option for everyone.

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Recovery

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After the surgery, patient is shifted to the ICU for one to two days, where the cardiac nurses and doctors monitor their vital signs. Once they are stable, the patient is moved to another room for recovery. Most patients stay in the hospital for at least a week after having a coronary artery bypass graft. Cardiac rehabilitation usually begins while they are still in the hospital. The doctor guides the patient through a program of regular exercises and instructions to help you during the recover.

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A common medication that needs to taken post-surgery include drugs called platelet inhibitors to help prevent blood clots.

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The length of recovery period varies for everyone, but generally most people have a full recovery within 12 weeks after their surgery.

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They will be able to return to most of the normal activities of everyday life, including working, driving and having sex, about 6 weeks following the procedure. The doctor will check the healing of the tissue and heart functions before allowing the patient to start the normal activities.

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It is important to follow the precaution recommended by the doctor and avoid strenuous activities during the recovery.

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