What Does Heart Surgery Involve?
The Day of Surgery
Cardiac surgery is performed under general anesthesia.
The cardiac anesthesiologist would have gone over the minute of the same with you prior to the procedure. In essence a breathing tube will be inserted during general anesthesia. Intravenous (IV) and monitoring lines will then be secured to assess hemodynamic parameters during and after surgery. A catheter will also be placed for emptying urine from the bladder.
Be sure to share with your anesthesia team details regarding prior surgical procedures, anesthesia used during the same, complications from prior procedures and allergies to any medications.
Surgery is a team effort.
It involves your surgeon, the surgical assistant, the nurses in the operating room, the perfusionist who runs the heart-lung machine and of course the anesthesia team.
Is is essential that the surgical team has gone over the various options available for surgery, the pros and cons of various approaches and the possible complications that are associated with any routine cardiac surgical procedure.
The surgery will be conducted through a sternotomy (splitting the breast bone) or via an incision through the muscles of the chest based on whether a conventional or minimally invasive access approach has been deemed suitable.
Coronary bypass surgery in India is commonly performed beating heart (off pump), certain surgeons may chose to arrest (stop) the heart and do a bypass procedure using the heart lung machine.
Valve surgery and major aortic surgeries are almost always performed using the heart lung machine.
Following surgery you will be shifted to the cardiac ICU. In addition to the breathing tube there will be drainage tubes coming out of the chest.
Following a period of observation in the ICU where the intensive care team monitors various hemodynamic parameters and other variables – and once stable you will be taken off the ventilator.