"My father’s difficult lung surgery was a success."
This procedure is performed similarly to a traditional open-heart surgery. Nevertheless, a heart-lung machine will not take over the functions of your organs, since cardiac arrest is not induced during this intervention. Your heart will permanently beat on its own over the course of the procedure. Prior to undergoing surgery, the patient will need to go through several tests and examinations in order to be assigned an accurate diagnosis, which is crucial for deciding on the most suitable and efficient treatment approach. Thus, two or more of the following will be requested:
After it has been established that you indeed qualify for beating heart bypass surgery, on the day of the surgery you will be put under general anesthesia and a team of medical professionals will constantly monitor your vital signs. An incision will be made across the middle of your sternum (chest bone) in order to gain access to the heart. One or multiple pieces of healthy vein or artery (also known as grafts) will subsequently be collected from your leg, arm or chest region. The tissue will be employed to create an alternative route (a bypass) through which oxygenated blood will properly be supplied to your heart. The ends of the bypass will be attached to your blocked artery: one above the obstruction and another below it. Following the completion of the procedure, the incision is closed with sutures (stitches) and a sterile dressing is applied over your wound.
Even though a lung-heart machine will not be employed during beating heart bypass surgery, a perfusionist who is trained to operate it will permanently be available while the procedure is ongoing, in case its use will be required.
Similarly to coronary artery bypass surgery, the purpose of beating heart bypass surgery is also to restore normal blood flow to the heart by creating an alternative route which will carry blood to the organ. The intervention is recommended for patients who have been diagnosed with coronary artery disease as well. Due to the fact that this procedure implies a lower risk of developing postoperative complications, it is particularly beneficial for people who:
Beating heart bypass surgery entails a series of notable advantages, including:
Nevertheless, not all patients suffering from coronary artery disease can undergo beating heart surgery, as induced cardiac arrest is absolutely necessary in certain cases. Therefore, you should discuss with your physician to find out whether you are eligible for this procedure.
Following beating heart bypass surgery, you will be moved to the intensive care unit, where your vital signs will be carefully monitored by medical professionals for one or two days after the intervention. You will typically go through these procedures while hospitalized, which are aimed at promoting a safe and effective recovery:
You will generally be required to stay in the hospital for approximately 5 days, after which you will be discharged. Nevertheless, your recovery regimen will continue at home, as complete recovery is achieved in 2 or 3 months. Additionally, you will need to attend an outpatient cardiac rehabilitation program, consisting in exercise sessions and education classes focusing on the implications of the procedure you underwent, for 4-6 weeks following surgery. Making a series of lifestyle changes to avoid another artery obstruction and maintain a proper functioning of your heart is highly recommended as well. Your physician may suggest at least one of the following: