Heart Failure Surgery
Heart surgery is performed to treat deformities or disorders of the heart. The goal of heart surgery is to
- Repair or replace faulty heart valves. Heart valves control blood flow through the heart.
- Repair abnormal or damaged parts of the heart.
- To place medical implant devices that help control the heartbeat or support heart function. A pacemaker is an example.
- Replace a diseased heart with a healthy heart obtained from a donor.
Open-heart surgery is the traditional way of heart surgery. It is done by cutting open the chest wall to operate on the heart. Once the heart is exposed, a heart-lung bypass machine is connected to the patient’s body. The machine takes over the heart's role while the surgeon operates on the temporarily inactive heart.
Off-pump, or beating heart surgery is another type of surgery. In this case, although the chest area is opened to expose the heart, the heart is not stopped.
Minimally invasive heart surgeries are performed now where minimal incisions are made for surgery. A heart-lung bypass machine may or may not be used in such cases.
What are the different types of heart surgeries?
- Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG)- Also known as bypass surgery, this is the most common type of heart surgery. CABG is recommended to treat people who have severe coronary heart disease (CHD) i.e. thick build up of plaque or fatty substances inside the coronary arteries. During CABG, a healthy artery or vein taken from a different part of the body is connected, or grafted, to the blocked coronary artery. The grafted artery creates a new path for oxygen-rich blood to flow to the heart muscle.
- Transmyocardial Laser Revascularization(TMR)- This is a surgical procedure used in treating angina or severe chest pain. During the procedure, a surgeon uses lasers to make small channels through the heart muscle and into the heart's left ventricle, helping the heart grow tiny new blood vessels. Oxygen-rich blood may flow through these vessels, which could relieve angina.
- Heart valve replacement- Blood flow happens inside the heart because of the valves opening and closing in a precise way as the heart pumps blood. When the valves fail to function properly, the blood flow of the heart is interrupted. To address such issues, surgeons either repair the valve or replace it with an artificial valve.
- Pacemaker implantation- Sometimes, your heart can beat too fast, too slow, or irregularly. This condition is called arrhythmia. Medication is usually prescribed to treat this condition. If medicine doesn't work well, surgery may be recommended to implant a pacemaker or an ICD (implantable cardioverter defibrillator) to stabilize the heartbeat.
- Treating aneurism- An aneurysm is characterized by a bulge in the wall of an artery or the heart muscle due to weakness in its walls. An aneurysm can grow and burst eventually, causing dangerous bleeding inside the body. Aneurysms in the heart most often occur in the left ventricle. An aneurism is treated surgically by replacing the weak section of the artery or heart wall with a tissue patch or graft.
- Heart Transplant- A heart transplant may be the the only resort for patients with advanced-stage heart failure. It is a complex surgery in which the diseased heart is removed and replaced with a compatible and healthy heart from a deceased donor.