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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Exp 50 years

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is open heart surgery dangerous?

Generally, how dangerous is open heart surgery?
Tue, 15 Dec 2009
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Now-a-days OPEN HEART SURGERY has become very common with MINIMUM RISKS. There need not be any fear for the patient and their relatives and the success rate is from 97 to 99% and you nedd not worry. I AM WRITTING THIS BECAUSE I UNDERWENT SURGERIES TWICE, (which very few have) and I am algiht now. Read the addtional details for inforamtion- Open-heart surgery generally means an operation in which the heart-lung machine is used to support the patient’s circulation while the surgeon opens the chest and makes changes to the heart or the arteries on the surface of the heart. This surgery is one of the most commonly performed operations in the United States, with a high overall survival rate. There are a variety of types of open-heart surgeries, depending on the condition being treated and the overall health of the patient. In general, patients undergoing open-heart surgery can expect a hospital stay of at least three to four days after the surgery. They will not be allowed to smoke for two weeks before the procedure, or to eat or drink for eight hours beforehand. They will usually be admitted on the morning of the procedure. The procedure itself takes an average of about five hours. Afterward, the patient will be very carefully monitored, first in the cardiac intensive care unit and then on the general floor. Most open-heart surgeries will not need to be repeated. The term open-heart surgery generally refers to an operation in which the heart-lung machine is used to support the patient’s circulation while the surgeon opens and makes changes to the heart. The definition, however, is somewhat fluid. The term may also be used to describe bypass surgery, which is used to treat coronary artery disease (CAD) – a chronic disease in which there is a “hardening” (atherosclerosis) of the arteries on the surface of the heart, resulting in an obstruction of the flow of blood to the heart muscle. During bypass surgery, the surgeon places a conduit vessel to the blocked coronary arteries, which lie on the surface of the heart, and the heart is not opened. Open-heart surgery has also been used to describe procedures that do not involve the use of the heart-lung machine (e.g., off pump bypass surgery). Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG): 467,000. CABG is a treatment for CAD, in which the arteries become clogged with built-up plaque, obstructing blood flow. In this procedure, the surgeon takes a segment of a healthy blood vessel from another part of the body and uses it to create a detour around the blocked portion of a blood vessel in the heart. A patient may require one, two, three or more bypasses depending on how many coronary arteries (and their main branches) are blocked. Heart valve procedures: 95,000. Depending on the goals of therapy, heart valve repair may be performed either as a catheter-based procedure or a surgery that corrects a defective heart valve. Heart valve replacement is an open-heart surgery in which a defective valve that cannot be repaired is replaced with either a biological or a mechanical valve. The types of valvular heart disease most often addressed by heart valve procedures are narrowed valves (stenosis) or improperly closing valves that allow blood to leak back in the wrong direction (regurgitation). Valvular atresia is another type of valvular heart disease, in which a valve is totally closed at birth. Neither heart valve repair nor replacement is a treatment for this condition. Instead, other surgeries may be necessary (see Tricuspid Atresia as an example). Heart transplants: In 2004, 2,016 heart transplants were performed. A heart transplant is an open-heart surgery in which a severely diseased or damaged heart is replaced with a healthy heart from a recently deceased organ donor. Although this surgery is effective in up to 90 percent of patients, there is a serious shortage of donor hearts. Researchers are working to develop equipment to improve the comfort of heart patients waiting for a donor organ and, ideally, to develop a total artificial heart that could permanently solve the shortage problem. Benefits and risks of open heart surgery The ideal result of an open-heart surgery is the correction of a congenital defect, repair/replacement of a defective valve or bypass of a blocked artery with no further surgery necessary. However, every patient is unique and some conditions require follow-up procedures. In the case of the coronary artery bypass graft, for instance, a second surgery is usually not needed unless the artery re-narrows (restenosis) or closes altogether, which happens in 5 to 20 percent of patients. Changes in the patient’s lifestyle can be an important factor in determining whether another operation is necessary. Although modern open-heart surgery has become a fairly common procedure, with a high overall survival rate, it does carry a risk of complications. This risk tends to be higher in older people and/or those with other serious medical conditions prior to the surgery. About 5 to 10 percent of patients experience strokes or transient ischemic attacks either during or shortly after open-heart surgery. Other complications include bleeding and infection. Conventional open-heart surgery, which has been around for almost 50 years, requires the use of the heart-lung machine to take over the heart’s functions during surgery so that the heart can be carefully stopped and worked on. To read some of the risks associated with this device, see Heart-Lung Machine.-
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