World Heart Day 2021: Minimal invasive heart surgery | Photo credit: iStock images
Minimally invasive heart surgery is an option widely used to combat a variety of heart conditions. Heart problems if ignored can lead to heart attack or heart failure, and they can be fatal if not treated in time. Compared to open heart surgery, minimally invasive heart surgery results in less pain and faster recovery for the patients. In this article, Dr Bipeenchandra Bhamre, cardiovascular surgeon at Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital and Lilavati Hospital, talks about the minimally invasive surgery procedure, its benefits, and how to prepare.
Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery – The Procedure
In minimally invasive heart surgery, small incisions in the right side of the chest are made to reach the heart between the ribs, rather than cutting through the breastbone, as is done in open heart surgery. There are different types of minimally invasive heart surgeries such as mitral valve repair / replacement, aortic valve repair / replacement, coronary artery bypass grafting (PAC), ventricular assist device (VAD), Intervascular Communication (ASD) repair and even the labyrinth procedure. for atrial fibrillation.
Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery – The Benefits
During the procedure, the surgeon will make tiny chest incisions in order to access the heart through openings between the ribs. This type of surgery is less invasive than traditional open heart surgery, in which surgeons open the chest to enter the heart. There is no chest opening or bone cutting, recovery is faster, reduced risk of infection, less complexity of surgery, less pain, less risk of complications, loss of minimal blood and no need for blood transfusion, shorter hospital stay, and even minimal scarring.
However, this type of heart surgery is not recommended for everyone. Your doctor will work with you, assess your medical history, and then only decide whether you can have it or not. You will be advised to do this by an expert who is well trained in the surgery.
Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery – The Preparation
Your doctor will explain to you what to expect before, during and after surgery and even side effects like bleeding or irregular heartbeat, which are rare. You can dispel all your doubts with the doctor. You may need to shave your hair in the areas of your body where the procedure will be performed. Your skin will be washed with a special soap to minimize the risk of infection.
Life after surgery
You may have a better quality of life and reduced symptoms of the disease or condition. Your doctor will tell you when you can resume your daily activities, such as working, driving, and exercising. You will need to do regular follow-ups with your doctor. You may need to opt for several tests to monitor your condition. You will be asked to exercise, eat a healthy diet, manage stress, and avoid smoking. Even in cardiac rehabilitation, an education and exercise program will be recommended to help you improve your health and recover after cardiac surgery.
Dr Bipeenchandra Bhamre is a guest contributor. The opinions expressed are personal.