Frequently Asked Questions
Open Heart Surgery: When a heart lung machine is used for surgery it is called open-heart surgery. This is used for valve repair or replacement. Certain birth defects and certain coronary artery bypass surgeries. This heart lung machine takes over the function of heart and lungs which are stopped, thus enabling the surgeon to perform the surgical procedure in a precise and accurate fashion on a motionless & bloodless heart.
Closed Heart Surgery: When the heart lung machine is not required for the surgery, it is called closed heart surgery, such as closed mitral valvotomy, PDA closure, bypass surgery on beating heart etc. Here the heart keeps beating and supports the body circulation totally on its own.
Typically, the arteries used are on the inside of the chest along the side of the breast bone (Internal mammary artery), on the inner aspect of / forearm (Radial artery) and along the stomach (Right Gastro-Epiploic artery). The vein that is typically used comes from just beneath the skin on the inside of the leg & thigh (saphenous vein). Some times vein may be removed from the back cf legs or arms.
During surgery one end of these arteries or veins are connected directly to the coronary arteries on the surface of the heart beyond the blockages and the opposite end is attached to the main artery of the body called "Aorta". This way blood can flow through them to bypass the narrowed or closed points.
Coronary artery bypass operations are performed either by using a heart lung machine or on beatinqheart. In the former technique this machine makes it possible to stop the beating (the motion) of the heart as it maintains the blood flow & circulation through the body. Then the grafts can be precisely connected to the tiny coronary arteries. In the latter technique, heartbeat is not stopped and the heart-lung machine is not used. Instead an external stabilizer system is used to reduce the mobility of heart in the area we are operating. The technique to be used in your case will be decided by your surgeon
o have high blood pressure or diabetes
o have high cholesterol
o weigh too much
o exercise less than 3 times a week
o eat high fat, high cholesterol food each day
o have family members who have had a stroke or heart attack before
the age of 55 years
o are a man over 45 years of age
o are a woman in the post menopausal age
o are often tense, stressed or pressed for time
o get angry quickly
High blood pressure is sneaky. You can have it and not know it. While it damages the arterial walls, letting fat and cholesterol build-up more easily, you may not feel a thing. Over time, much damage is done causing strokes, heart attacks or kidney failure. Blood pressure can be fairly easy to control. You can bring it down with weight loss, exercises, medications, relaxation and not smoking. Some people are also asked to eat less salt
If you have diabetes, do everything you can to control blood sugar. Diabetes puts a person at very high risk for the build up of fat and cholesterol in the arteries, of not only heart, but of virtually every organ of the body.
o Narrows blood vessels
o Can cause coronary artery spasm Scars the lung and reduces oxygen exchange o Increases heart rate
o Shortens life span
o Lowers good cholesterol
It may take more than one try to quit smoking. So don't give up. Each try improves your chances of quitting for good.
o more cholesterol in the blood
o higher blood pressure
o more shortness of breath
o more diabetes
o more work load on the heart
A steady weight loss program achieved, with low-calorie, low-fat food, and exercise, is the best way to lose weight and keep it off.
The saturated fats are the worst for you, but all fats should be counted in your food. Your goal is to eat very little fat. Foods high in saturated V fat and cholesterol have been linked to heart disease. Most often these are animal foods like meat and dairy products. Saturated fats can also be found in vegetable oils such as coconut and palm oils. As a rule, plant foods (such as beans, grains, vegetables and fruits) have less fat and cholesterol than animal food. Your aim should be to keep the total cholesterol as low as possible and certainly below 200 mg or less and to consume no more than 20% of your calories as fat.
There are 3 types of exercises:
o Stretching (staying loose)
o Aerobics (for blood flow and oxygen)
o Strengthening (toning or building muscles)
The most important exercise for your heart is aerobic exercise. Walking, jogging, running, swimming, dancing and cycling are aerobic.
Use one of these to stop and slow down:
o Breathing deeply and slowly to get relaxed
o A 10 to 20 minutes rest
o A 30 minutes brisk walk
o Massage, meditation or a visual journey