"My father’s difficult lung surgery was a success."
This surgical intervention is generally performed with high rates of success and involves a series of considerable long-term advantages. It can either be traditional (open-heart) or minimally invasive. Although both approaches are equally efficient, it is important to mention that not all patients qualify for the latter procedure. Complex cases of coronary artery disease, for instance, are not suitable for minimally invasive surgery, as a larger incision is usually required.
Before coronary artery bypass surgery, the patient needs to undergo multiple tests and examination procedures which will accurately assess the complexity of their condition. Consequently, we can opt for the most appropriate surgical treatment approach, which will efficiently restore the function of their artery and heart. Two or more of the following tests and exams are recommended prior to coronary artery bypass surgery:
Coronary artery bypass surgery (both open-heart and minimally invasive) is performed under general anesthesia and its duration varies between 3 and 6 hours, depending on the particularities of your condition. Cardiac arrest will be induced in order to temporarily stop your heart and lungs, whose functions will be taken over by a heart-lung machine (on-pump). A long incision in the middle of your sternum (chest bone) will be made for open-heart surgery, while the minimally invasive approach will involve several small incisions in your chest region as well.
In order to build a new path through which blood will be properly carried to your heart, one or multiple grafts (portions of healthy veins or arteries) are collected from your leg, wrist or chest area to create the bypass. Subsequently, one end of the bypass will be attached above the obstructed artery and the other, below. This way, oxygenated blood will be able to reach your heart through the newly created alternative route. Finally, sutures (stitches) are used to close the incision and a sterile dressing will be applied over the wound.
Coronary artery bypass surgery is required when non-invasive treatment options such as medication, lifestyle changes and exercise fail to alleviate the symptoms of coronary artery disease, as well as when the condition is particularly severe and entails great risks for the patient’s health. Heart attack is the most serious complication which can arise from coronary artery disease due to poor blood flow to the heart. Some of the most notable benefits of coronary artery bypass surgery include:
After the surgical procedure is completed, you will be moved to the intensive care unit where you will be carefully monitored by medical professionals for several days. For a thorough and efficient recovery, the following procedures are required while you are in the hospital:
Pain and discomfort are common during the first 2 or 3 days after the surgery and you will be prescribed pain-relieving medicine to alleviate your symptoms. You will generally be discharged from the hospital in approximately 5 days, depending on how fast your recovery is. If, however, complications occurred, you will most likely have to spend additional time hospitalized. Complete recovery is generally achieved within 2 to 3 months. Nevertheless, it is highly recommended to make a series of lifestyle changes in order to speed up your recovery and prevent another plaque obstruction, such as: