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3 Important Things to Know About Open Heart Surgery

3 Important Things to Know About Open Heart Surgery

With more than 200,000 operations performed each year in the US, chances are you’ve heard of open-heart surgery. The operation is relatively straightforward. A cardiothoracic surgeon opens the chest with a singular goal in mind: to repair the heart’s function.

If you or a loved one needs cardiac surgery, it’s in your best interest to be prepared. Though it can be a risky procedure, it can literally save your life. Continue reading for three important things you need to know when it comes to open-heart surgery!

What Is a Heart-Lung Bypass Machine?

In order to perform certain life-saving medical procedures on the heart, the doctor might temporarily stop the heart. The heart-lung bypass machine will manually take over the heart and lungs. The pump manually adds oxygen to the blood and moves the blood through the body without needing to filter through the heart first.

Click to read more about surgical devices and surgical centers. The devices used during heart surgery depend on the type of facility the surgery is performed at.

Are There Different Types of Open-Heart Surgery?

Advances in modern technology have introduced less invasive procedures into the medical world. However, traditional open-heart surgery may still be the best option for certain people.

The most common type of open-heart surgery is heart bypass surgery or coronary bypass surgery. This procedure involves taking a healthy nerve or artery from another part of the body and placing it in the heart to create a new path for blood flow into the heart muscle.

Other types of heart surgery that require the chest to be open include heart valve replacements, heart defect corrections, and heart transplants. Open-heart surgery may also include the implantation of medical devices such as pacemakers and ICDs.

What Are the Risks of Open-Heart Surgery?

If you are scheduled for open-heart surgery, your doctor already weighed the risks of the surgery with the benefits. This means that they believe that the procedure is the best option for you. However, you still need to be wary of the possible problems that you might run into during recovery.

Some of the common risks of open-heart surgery include heart attacks or strokes, chest pain, and blood clots. It can also include problems with other parts of the body including kidney/liver failure, fever, and even pneumonia. A large incision stands to get infected if the wound isn’t properly cared for.

Cardiac Surgery Saves Lives

Open-heart surgery is a common, yet serious, surgical procedure that takes place to replace or repair different parts of the heart. If a heart doctor recommends open-heart surgery, they believe that it is going to improve a heart condition. As with any surgery, it’s important to be prepared for the worst scenario while you expect the best outcome.

If you found this post to be helpful, be sure to check out our other health-related content.

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