Heart Bypass Surgery

Heart Bypass Surgery

Heart Bypass Surgery- Procedure, Success Rate and Cost in India

Heart Bypass Surgery, or coronary artery bypass surgery, is used to replace damaged or blocked arteries that supply blood to your heart muscle. A surgeon uses blood vessels taken from another area of your body to repair the damaged arteries. These damaged arteries are responsible for supplying your heart with oxygenated blood. If these arteries cannot pass the blood to the heart, the heart may become dysfunctional ultimately leading to heart failure. At most times, fear and ignorance seem to cover the face of this life-saving procedure. However, if you're well read about the benefits of the Heart Bypass Surgery, one can consider getting it done for better health prospects.
One must not confuse Heart Bypass Surgery with an Open Heart surgery, in which the chest wall is surgically opened and the heart is exposed. This surgery is performed on the muscles, valves, or arteries of the heart. Robotic coronary artery bypass surgery is another surgical technique where the heart surgeon performs the bypass through a smaller incision in the chest, with the help of robotics and video imaging.

Why is Heart Bypass Surgery done?

Heart Bypass Surgery is a life-changing surgery. If you have one or more of the following serious heart ailments, you can consult a certified heart surgeon and consider getting the Heart Bypass Surgery done. 
•    Severe chest pain that is caused by narrowing of the arteries responsible for supplying blood to your heart muscle.
•    The heart's main pumping chamber, the left ventricle is almost out of order.
•    Your left main coronary artery is severely blocked. This artery supplies most of the blood to the left ventricle. (atherosclerosis)
•    You have an artery blockage for which angioplasty is not a suitable treatment. 
•    You've previously had stent placement, but the artery has narrowed again (restenosis).
•    You have encountered an emergency situation, such as you have suffered a heart attack.

Medical Conditions that Can Complicate Heart Bypass Surgery

Several medical conditions in your body can complicate your Heart Bypass Surgery. Your cardiologist or heart surgeon will, therefore, deeply evaluate if you're eligible for a Heart Bypass Surgery. If you're suffering from one or more of the following conditions, you could be eliminated from getting the Heart Bypass Surgery done:
•    Diabetes
•    Emphysema (lung disease)
•    Kidney disease
•    Peripheral arterial disease (PAD)
•    Any regular medication intake that can complicate the surgery.
•    The family history of serious ailments.

Heart Bypass Surgery Procedure

Before the Heart Bypass Surgery procedure, you would be given some medications and injected with anaesthesia to ensure a painless treatment. Once you go into deep sleep, your heart surgeon would begin with the procedure. An incision is made in the middle of your chest so that our rib cage can be opened and spread apart to expose your heart. Your body hooked up to a cardiopulmonary bypass machine (also known as the heart-lung machine) which ensures the circulation of oxygenated blood through your body while your surgeon operates on your heart. To remove the carbon dioxide entirely, the blood is pumped out of your heart by the machine which is then filled with oxygen. The oxygenated blood is pumped back into your body without going through the heart and lungs. This keeps oxygenated blood pumping throughout your body. To bring your body temperature down, your heart surgeon may apply certain cooling techniques, sometimes called extreme cooling, to bring your body temperature down to around 64.4°F (18°C).  (This can be done with the help of the heart-lung machine or by drenching your heart in cold, salty water). This technique freezes some of your body processes to make the Heart Bypass Surgery surgery go on for longer (if required). That's because, at a lower temperature, your heart needs relatively lesser oxygen than it would at normal.
Your surgeon then removes a healthy blood vessel from inside your chest wall or leg that is taken out as a replacement for the blocked or damaged coronary artery. One end of the graft is attached above the blockage and the other end below. Finally, you're removed off the heart-lung machine and the function of the bypass is checked. Once the bypass gets working, you’re being stitched up, bandaged, and taken to the intensive care unit (ICU) for monitoring.

Risks of Heart Bypass Surgery

Any Heart Bypass Surgery carries risk, given the fact that the body functions on an artificial machine while the surgery takes place. However, in the last few decades, with the innumerable technological advancements in the medical sector, certain improvements have been made which ensure a remarkable success rate of the Heart Bypass Surgery. 

The risks that can be attached to Heart Bypass Surgery:
•    bleeding
•    arrhythmia
•    blood clots
•    chest pain
•    infection
•    kidney infection 
•    low-grade fever
•    Confusion

Heart Bypass Surgery Recovery Time

After Heart Bypass Surgery, you may feel some pain and can have side effects like confusion or trouble keeping a track of time.
You'll be monitored in ICU for the first two days post your surgery. After which you may be shifted to the general ward for over a week. 
You would be given instructions like:
•    caring for the incision wound(s)
•    getting plenty of rest
•    refraining from physical activity
The least recovery time for a Heart Bypass Surgery is about 6-12 weeks.