Your heart is the chief primary pump of your body, its main function being to pump and circulate oxygenated blood all through your body and deoxygenated blood back to the lungs for removal. The heart can be affected by blockage of either the incoming or outgoing vessels of the heart. A blockage of these vessels is a possible indication for heart bypass surgery. The common procedures on the heart include the following.
- Coronary Angioplasty : Many patients undergo coronary angioplasty to recover the impaired blood supply to the cardiac muscle. A balloon (initially deflated) is used to increase the width of the artery in the blocked area by inflation, and a stent is used to make it stay wide. This is done in relatively fewer, initial and early blockages- say just one or two arteries.
- Bypass graft surgery/ Open Heart Surgery : However, if you have blockages in three or more coronary arteries, your cardiologist is likely to recommend bypass surgery. A coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) works on the principle of GRAFTS- arteries or veins from other parts of your body and using these grafts as alternative pathways to redirect the blood around the blocked artery. Either a single or numerous graft could be needed, depending on how many coronary arteries are choked-up.
A coronary angioplasty is still a relatively minor surgical procedure as compared to a bypass graft surgery/ open heart surgery and heart transplantation which are major surgical procedures. All these surgeries are to be done by a cardiothoracic surgeon or a cardiologist.
The surgical procedure is performed under the influence of general anesthesia mostly and requires a dedicated change in lifestyle and rehabilitative exercises to help recover full heart function. Your cardiologist will choose the best procedure to treat you.
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