What is heart bypass surgery?

Heart bypass surgery also known as coronary artery bypass graft (CBAG) is a procedure that helps in improving blood flow to your heart. 

This procedure uses blood vessels from another part of your body to bypass blocked or damaged arteries in your heart. It is one of the most common types of open heart surgeries performed all over the world. 

Why is heart bypass surgery needed?

Heart bypass surgery is performed to treat symptoms of Coronary artery disease, which causes a plaque buildup in your arteries and doesn’t lets blood and oxygen reach your heart. 

Heart bypass surgery is recommended if:

  • You have severe chest pain 
  • The left ventricle of your heart is not working adequately 
  • You have a blockage in your left coronary artery

Schedule an appointment with a General Surgeon in Karachi if you have any of the above mentioned symptoms 

Are there any risks that come along with heart bypass surgery?

Just like other open-heart surgeries, heart bypass surgery also poses certain risks which are:

  • bleeding
  • chest pain 
  • blood clots
  • infection
  • heart attack 
  • stroke 
  • arrhythmia 

Even though modern equipment and techniques have made the procedure of heart bypass pretty safe, it is better to stay prepared for any possible complications.

How can I prepare myself for heart bypass surgery?

After your doctor recommends heart bypass surgery they will run several blood tests, chest X Rays, an angiogram, and an electrocardiogram to get an adequate picture of your heart health. 

So after getting a heads up from your doctor you can start preparing for the surgery like this:

  1. Try calling quits to smoking as studies show that smokers take longer to heal after a heart bypass surgery.
  2. Prepare yourself and your home by making adequate arrangements.
  3. Pack your bags with necessary essentials for your stay at the hospital.
  4. To reduce your chances of infection, bath with special antibacterial soaps a night before your surgery. 
  5. Stop eating and drinking at least 8 to 12 hours prior to the surgery.

Another thing that you need to do before your surgery is let your doctor know about all the medications that you take including all over-the-counter medications, so they can make any changes after the surgery if necessary.

Also, let your doctor know if you have a cold or flu because flu puts strain on the heart and increases the chances of heart attacks. 

What does a procedure of heart bypass surgery look like?

After reaching the hospital you will be asked to change into a hospital gown. Then you will receive medications and anaesthesia through an IV. 

When you go into deep sleep the procedure will begin. First an incision will be made in the middle of your chest, then your ribcage will be spread apart to expose your heart completely. 

Then your doctor will hook you to a cardiopulmonary bypass machine that will serve the purpose of circulating oxygenated blood to your body until your surgeon works on your heart. 

Healthy blood vessels will then be removed from your leg to bypass the damaged or blocked artery in your heart.Then the graft will be attached to the blockage and the other end.

Finally the function of the bypass will be checked and if it is working completely fine then your incision will be stitched up and you will be shifted to ICU for monitoring until you are fully awake and fine. 

How long does it take to recover after heart bypass surgery?

When you wake up after the bypass surgery you will probably have a breathing tube in your mouth. 

Your stay in the ICU will be two days long. It is because your vitals need to be monitored all the time after heart bypass surgery. Then you will be moved to another room. 

You may have some pain at the incision site while you cough or take deep breaths and it is completely normal.

If there are no complications and your wound is healing well you will be permitted to leave the hospital. Your doctor will give you any necessary instructions about how you can take care of your incision wound at home and stay active.

The recovery period after heart bypass surgery varies from patient to patient but usually, most patients are up and running within 6 to 12 weeks after the surgery. It is advisable to avoid any exertion during the recovery period.

Don’t hesitate to see a General Surgeon in Islamabad if you even have a minor doubt that your wound is not healing well. 

Patients can lead a symptom-free life for more than a decade after a heart bypass surgery, which is only if they maintain a healthy lifestyle.

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