Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG)
This type of heart surgery is used to improve the flow of blood in patients suffering from CHD. Over a period of time, plaque build-up takes place in the arteries that supplies blood to the heart. These plaques harden over a period of time and reduce the flow of blood in the heart, causing a peculiar chest pain called angina.
Such plaques are also at an increased risk of rupture, leading to formation of a blood clot that interferes with the flow of blood. This may result in heart attack.
During CABG, a healthy artery is connected to the blocked artery, forming a new pathway for blood to flow into the heart. The blood, thus, “bypasses” the blocked portion of the artery and thus restores normal flow of blood. During the procedure, several blockages can be bypassed at a time.
Also known as percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), coronary angioplasty is a nonsurgical procedure used to open up the narrowed or blocked coronary artery. It is performed with the help of a thin needle which places an inflated balloon in the blocked part of the artery. The inflated balloon opens up the blocked artery and improved blood flow.
During the same procedure, a mesh tube called stent may also be placed to keep the blocked artery open and to support its inner wall.
Treatment of Faulty Valves, Septal Defects
Any fault or defects in the valves of the heart that control the flow of blood from one chamber of the heart and in the septa that divides the two atria or ventricles is treated with the help of a procedure called heart catheterization.
Heart catheterization is a technique by which a thin and flexible tube called a catheter is inserted into a large artery of the arm, groin or leg. The catheter carries a deflated balloon, which is inflated once inside to create a gap that allows the blood to flow normally or to place a clip that closed any holes in the walls.
Heart Valve Repair or Replacement
To achieve valve replacement or repair, the catheter is used to either place an inflated below or a clip that holds the valve in position and allows smooth flow of blood from one chamber to another. This, in turn, helps prevent mixing of pure and impure blood in the chambers.
Atrial or Ventricular Septal Defect Closure
To achieve atrial or ventricular septal defect closure in the catheter is guided to reach the site of defect and place a closure device there. The closure device is typically made of mesh and metal. The catheter is pulled out once the closure device is in its place.
The closure device effectively closes the hole in the atrial or ventricular septa and is permanently place there.
Treatment of Arrhythmia
Arrhythmia refers to the irregular beating of the heart. The rhythm of the heartbeat is a patient suffering from arrhythmia is either too fast or too slow.
It is a life threatening condition that is treated by placing a medical device or an implant. However, the first line of treatment for arrhythmia includes medications.
The second line of treatment is a surgery. It can be used to implant the following two devices to regularize the heart rate:
Pacemaker: A pacemaker is a small device, which is connected to the chambers of the heart with the help of wires. The device itself is placed under the skin of the chest. This device sends electrical impulses, when required, to regularize the beating of the heart.
Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD): It is another small device placed under the skin of the chest that send strong impulses to the brain whenever it senses heart arrhythmia. The shock sent to the brain restores the normal beating of the heart.
Treatment of Heart Failure
For patients suffering from end-stage heart failure, heart transplantation is an option. During this procedure, the damaged or non-functional heart is replaced from a healthy heart derived from a donor.
Until a suitable donor is registered, the patient is treated with the help of a total artificial heart (TAH) or ventricular assist devices (VAD).
Recovery After Heart Surgery
The patient undergoing heart surgery will be required to recover at the hospital and at home before he or she can return back to their normal daily routine. During the stay at hospital. The patient may be given extra oxygen through a mask and put on intravenous fluids until the patient is able to drink by himself or herself.
Recovery at home after a heart surgery may take a long time. Doctor guides patients to take care of their incision and check for any signs of infection at the site of the wound.
Some patients may experience chest pain, muscle pain, constipation, mood swings, vomiting, depression, sleeping problems and loss in appetite after the surgery. However, these heart surgery side effects lasts for only a few days and the person is eventually able to return back to their normal activities.