A small story to lift your mood… When this gentleman recovered successfully from a massive cardiac arrest after undergoing a coronary artery bypass surgery, he was all tears. His relatives and doctors were surprised to see him cry during that moment of joy. When asked for the reason, he said, “I am not crying because I cannot pay my hospital bills, I can pay even more. But I’m crying because the Almighty has given me everything free all my life, and I never could give him a penny in return!”
Indeed, God’s love is abundant and selfless. And certainly, health workers are His disguise. One of the breakthroughs of Medical sciences is the heart bypass surgery. Let’s walkthrough to understand what is this surgery all about, when does a person need a bypass surgery and some after-care tips to get a life with added years to it.
What is coronary artery bypass surgery?
Imagine a scenario, where you are stuck up in a deadlock on the road. The traffic policemen then divert vehicles in different directions to clear the deadlock situation and you get an all new route to get out of the congestion. This scenario can be applied to the heart bypass surgery procedure.
In this procedure, blood vessels from various parts of the body, for example, from the chest, leg or abdomen are taken and planted on blocked arteries of the heart. This way, the blood and oxygen flow more easily without interruption into the heart reducing the risk of cardiac problems in future. Life gets back to normal after a bypass surgery, without any risk of heart attacks and heart related problems.
When does anyone need heart bypass surgery?
A bypass surgery is required when the blockages in the arteries do not clear out with medication or any other treatments. The coronary arteries are sometimes damaged with deposits called plaques and therefore this interrupt free flow of blood and oxygen into the heart. Further, blockages in the left main coronary artery restricts supply of blood to lower chamber of heart, aka, left ventricle. This clogged flow leads to cardiac failures, frequent chest pain, irregular heart beat and shortness of breath.
Obviously, the coronary artery bypass surgery is as complicated as it sounds, it eventually comes to rescue the patient who is at the fine line juncture between life and death.
Types of heart bypass surgery
Typically, the heart bypass surgery is an open-heart surgery. The patient’s chest is cut open to perform the surgery. There are two ways to perform this procedure,
- On-pump surgery – There is a machine called heart-lung machine that pumps in place of the heart during the course of the surgery. It circulated blood and breathes in place of the heart.
- Off-pump surgery – This type of surgery takes place without using any heart-lung machine. The heart beats its usual while the operation takes place side by side.
The decision as to which type of surgery would be best on a patient, depends on patient’s medical history and other health complications. A surgeon knows best about which option would be best for a patient.
Success Rate and Recovery time
Although the procedure is complicated, it has been an elixir of life for thousands of heart patients. Every year, thousands of operations are performed by surgeons which has transformed many lives. Patients get a great relief from symptoms without the need for long-term medication. The complications of procedure depend on the severity of heart disease in the patient. The more the number/percentage of blockage in arteries, the higher is the risk of death post operation.
Life after bypass surgery
A person can live a life to the fullest without the fear of complications after a heart bypass surgery. Soon after surgery, life get to normalcy with improvements like reduced chest pain, uninterrupted flow of blood and oxygen resulting in zero breathing troubles. In a nutshell, a person who has had a coronary artery bypass surgery is at a much lower risk of cardiac arrest and death.
With proper care and medication, a patient can revive his usual life routine soon after the surgery. Heart bypass surgery is safe and effective and can help people regain the quality of life they experienced before they developed the heart condition.