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Heart Surgery- The right decision at the right time can save lives

Heart surgery is performed to rectify problems with the heart. The most common type of heart surgery for adults is Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG). During CABG, a healthy artery or vein from the body is attached to a blocked coronary artery so that the grafted artery or vein bypasses the blocked portion of the coronary artery. This creates a new path for the oxygenated blood to reach the heart muscle which makes it nourished and healthy. This heart surgery relieves chest pain and lowers the risk of having heart attack in the future.

The heart operations are done by the heart surgeons for valve replacements or to repair heart valves that control the blood flow through the heart. It is also done to repair abnormal or damaged structures in the heart, implant medical devices that support the heart beat or for replacement of heart through heart transplant.

Traditional heart surgery is called the ‘open-heart surgery’ and is performed by opening up the chest wall to operate on the heart. The heart surgeon cuts through the patient's breastbone to open the chest. The heart is exposed and the patient is connected to a heart-lung bypass machine. The machine takes over the heart's pumping action and moves blood away from the heart. This allows the heart surgeon to operate on a heart that has temporarily stopped working.

Another type of heart surgery is called off-pump, or beating heart, surgery. It's like traditional open-heart surgery because the chest bone is opened to access the heart. However, in this case the heart has not stopped, and a heart-lung bypass machine isn't used either. Off-pump heart surgery is limited to CABG. Minimally invasive procedure is another type of heart surgery wherein the heart surgeons make small incisions between the ribs to perform some types of heart surgeries. In this case, the breastbone is not cut open. This type of heart surgery may or may not use a heart-lung bypass machine

The new age procedures such as off-pump and minimally invasive surgeries reduce the risks and speed up recovery time.

The heart surgery in adults often gives excellent results. The surgery can reduce symptoms, improve quality of life, and also improve the chances of survival.

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