Heart Bypass surgery is used for replacing the damaged arteries in order to supply blood to the heart muscle. The surgeon will use blood vessels are taken from a different part of the body in order to mend the arteries that have been damaged. When the arteries become excessively blocked or injured then a surgical procedure is required. The arteries will supply the heart with blood that has been oxygenated. In case the arteries become blocked or the blood flow becomes narrowed then the heart stops functioning. This leads to a failure of the heart.
Plaque accumulates in the blood of the arterial walls. As a result of this lower amount of blood will flow to the muscles of the heart. In the event of the muscle receiving insufficient amount of blood will over time became tired and fails. Any damage that takes place as a result of this occurrence happens on the left ventricle of the heart. When the coronary arteries became extremely narrowed it runs a risk of heart attack and is known as atherosclerosis or coronary artery disease.
If the blockage is extremely severe and cannot be treated with just medications then the doctor will suggest bypass surgery.
Different kinds of surgery include; single bypass (blockage of one artery), double bypass (blockage of two arteries), triple bypass (blockage of three arteries) and Quadruple bypass (blockage of four arteries).
In order to figure out if you require heart bypass surgery a group of doctors will evaluate if such a surgery is necessary. Conditions that pose a threat to creating complications are emphysema, kidney disorder, diabetes and peripheral arterial disease (PAD).
A planned surgery is always a better option than an emergency surgery. Therefore, before scheduling the date of surgery with your doctor have a detailed discussion with him/ her about whether you are currently under any medications and also about your medical history.
If the date of the surgery is scheduled then the patient undergoing the coronary heart surgery will need to follow certain pre-operative procedures such as chest x-ray, angiogram, blood samples and electrocardiogram (ECG).
Before the procedure the surgeon will begin by creating an incision in the chest right at the middle. The rib cage needs to spread in order for the heart to be exposed. The patient is tied to a cardiopulmonary bypass machine after this. This machine is also referred to as a heart-lung machine. It is responsible for the circulation of the oxygenated blood throughout the body during the course of time the surgeon is operating on the heart.
With the help of the machine, blood is pumped out of the heart for eliminating traces of carbon dioxide. The surgeon may also use certain cooling methods in order to keep the body temperature around 64.4 degrees Fahrenheit. The doctor will take a healthy vessel of blood from the chest wall and replace this with the damaged one in the arteries.
Those who are suffering from serious coronary artery disorder that cannot be managed even with laser anigioplasty, stent placement or balloon angioplasty are eligible for the surgical procedure.
People who are suffering from chronic health diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, peripheral artery disease, lung disease or kidney disease or those who are alcoholic are at a risk from this surgery and are not eligible.
There are certain risks involved with the heart bypass surgery. However, developments in technology in recent years have bettered the procedure methods. But the common risks associated with this surgery are; arrhythmia (malfunctioning of the heart rhythm), kidney failure, infection, chest pain, bleeding, blood clots, low-grade fever, memory loss, allergic reactions to anaesthesia, pneumonia, pain at the site of the wound, lowered cognitive skills, loss of blood and heart attack/stroke. There is also the possibility of death while the surgical procedure is ongoing
After the surgical procedure the patient will be asked to run certain tests such as ECG, A X-ray of the chest and also a couple of blood tests in order to eliminate the possibility of any future complication. After the surgery you stand the risk of developing anaemia which is very normal. After two days the dressings from the site of the wound need to be removed. The staples from the stitches will be taken out after a week of the surgery.
The patient will be asked to follow a strict dietary routine and will also be required to do a few exercise routines. But ensure to avoid exercises or activities that hold the slightest chance of causing strain on your body. Also, regular follow-ups with the doctor is very necessary.
It takes about six to twelve weeks to recover from the procedure. The breastbone alone can take up to six weeks to heal.
The price of a coronary bypass surgery can range from 1 lakh to 4 lakhs in India.
For patients who have undergone a planned surgery, the results of the procedure are generally very positive. However, for those who had to opt for an emergency procedure the chance of complications arising out of the operation heightens. The results will vary from one person to the other. In order to promote your overall wellness your supervising doctor will suggest you to opt for cardiac rehab program.
The alternative treatment methods to coronary bypass surgery include balloon angioplasty, Enhanced external counter-pulsation (EECP), medications such as calcium blockers, nitrates, beta-blockers and following certain lifestyle and dietary alterations.