A heart bypass surgery redirects blood flow around a blocked or narrow section in the arteries supplying blood and oxygen to the heart. The procedure is also called an Off-Pump Coronary Artery Bypass (OPCAB) and is performed while your heart is still beating. In modern times, the procedure does not require a heart-lung machine. A stabilisation device is used to immobilise the heart during the course of the bypass operation. However, some traditional techniques of Cardiopulmonary Bypass (CPB) use a heart-lung machine which involves stopping the heart temporarily and replacing the work of the heart with the machine.If you want to know the bypass surgery cost in India or have any other questions regarding the surgery, please feel free to contact our doctors and they will give you all the details about medical tourism for heart disease in India.
Just like the other organs in our body, the heart also requires a constant supply of blood and oxygen. It is the job of the left and right coronary arteries to supply this blood and oxygen without any interruptions. However, sometimes a condition called atherosclerosis can cause the arteries to become narrow due to fatty acid build up around them. This is known as a coronary heart disease.
A severe case of atherosclerosis interferes with the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart, causing chest pain and an ailment called angina. A cardiologist will suggest an open heart bypass surgery in the following cases:
- A severe case of angina where the heart muscles are falling short of oxygen even with the slightest activity or during rest
- Noticeable blockages in more than one artery that supplies blood to the heart
- Artery blockages that are unable to treat using medication or with artery-opening procedures like angioplasty.
If you have been through a previously failed angioplasty, a surgery might be the only option.
- An emergency situation like a heart attack or damage due to an accident can also prompt the CABG (Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting).
Your surgeon will guide you through the necessary lifestyle changes, medications and diet changes required ahead of your surgery. The following pre-surgical tests must be conducted to determine your overall health and wellbeing and also to check the status of artery blockages:
- Electrocardiogram (ECG)
- Coronary Angiogram
- Chest X-Ray
- Blood Tests
Make sure you discuss all your queries with your surgeon during this time so that you are relaxed and at peace during your surgery.
A bypass surgery in India can last between three to six hours, based on the heart blockages and their severity. An experienced cardiac surgeon along with his trusted team will perform your operation under general anaesthesia.
- The surgeon begins by removing a healthy artery or a vein graft from some other part of your body. Usually, grafts are taken either from the leg (saphenous vein), from inside the chest (also known as an internal mammary artery) or from the arm (known as a radial artery).
- After the graft is ready, the surgeon will make an incision along the breastbone in the centre of the chest and slowly spread open the rib cage in order to get open access to the heart.
- Using a stabilization device, the heart is stabilised so that the surgeon can work on the required area of the heart
- The device attaches itself gently to the surface of the heart through small suction pods that ensure steady heart movements in that area
- Then, the one end of the graft is attached to the area just above the blockage in the artery. The other end is attached below the artery blockage area.
- Post the successful implantation of the graft over the blood vessel, normal blood flow resumes in the area.
In the CBP procedure, the heart stops temporarily while in the CABG procedure, the heart continues to beat. Speak to your surgeons to understand the pros and cons of both treatment methods.
Post a heart surgery in India, you will be moved into the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to monitor your health and heart. Based on your response to the procedure, you will then be moved to a normal room where you might have to stay for about a week. After a bypass surgery, it can take you three to four weeks to resume to your normal routines. Many surgeons recommend attending a cardiac rehabilitation programme for faster recovery through exercise and education therapy. Make sure you don’t miss any follow-ups as directed by the surgeon since this will monitor your progress and determine any unexpected relapse in the treatment.
RISK AND COMPLICATIONS
Since this is an open heart surgery, the risks and complications are comparatively higher. Though you can be assured that doctors and surgeons will do their best to deliver a successful operation, you must be aware of the risks before you make your decision. The complications largely depend on the status of your health before the surgery and the chance of risks are higher when the surgery is an emergency procedure. Some of the possible risks include:
- Chest wound infection
- Problems in heart rhythms or a stroke
- Post- pericardiotomy syndrome – low fever or chest pain
- Disruption in cognitive abilities or memory loss
Many clinical studies have shown that a beating heart CABG procedure offers comparatively lesser complications and a shorter hospital stay compared to the conventional CPB.