Types Of Heart Operations

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Types Of Heart Operations

Heart operations are surgeries or procedures carried out on the heart. These operations are carried out to treat heart disease and correct heart defects. There are different types of heart operations to resolve issues caused by the different heart conditions. For example operations can be carried out to unblock arteries, repair damaged valves, replace damaged valves, repair damage on heart muscle walls, make heart contractions regular by implanting a medical device and in extreme cases, transplant another heart.

Different types of heart operations can be done by themselves or in combination depending on the severity of the heart condition and the general health of the patient. These types of heart operations can be broadly classified as open heart surgery, beating heart or off pump surgery and minimally invasive surgery.

One of the most common types of heart operations is called coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG pronounced as ‘cabbage’). This type of heart operation is performed to correct problems caused by coronary heart disease. Coronary heart disease causes accumulation of plaque in the arteries. Arteries are the blood vessels that carry oxygenated blood to the heart. The accumulation can be so severe that it may cause complete blockage of the artery.

During this type of operation, the surgeon harvests an artery or vein from another part of the body like the leg or chest, and then this harvested blood vessel is grafted near the aorta ensuring that the blockage in the arteries is bypassed. The aim of this procedure is to make sure the heart is getting enough oxygenated blood. During one CABG procedure, the surgeon can bypass one artery but a bypassing as many as 4 arteries is possible.

CABG can be performed as an open heart surgery and is the only type of heart operation that is performed as a beating heart surgery.

Heart valve replacement is another one of the types of heart operations performed. This operation is carried out to correct damage caused by valve disease. Disease valves can become rigid and therefore do not open to let blood into the chambers of the heart, or become defective so that they do not close completely. The valve replacement can be done using an artificial valve (also known as a mechanical heart valve or a prosthetic heart valve) or using a biological valve harvested from a donor.

Other types of heart operations include aortic aneurysm repair, transmyocardial laser revascularization, coronary angioplasty, cardiac pacemaker surgery and heart transplant surgery.

Heart transplants are carried out on patients whose hearts are very badly damaged or diseased. This is usually the last option in terms of treatment methods. This is mainly because that the donor heart has to come from a deceased person and there are not very many donor hearts.

Before agreeing to any of the above types of heart operations it would be wise for the patient to learn about any possible bypass surgery complications and other heart surgery complications so they can do all they can on their part to prevent them.