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What You Need to Know About Open Heart Surgery

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What You Need to Know About Open Heart Surgery

Open-heart surgery- Those three words, in particular, are often shrouded in misunderstanding, discomfort, and worry–so today we’ll explore the basics of open-heart surgery, in hopes that understanding will lead to a bit more comfort.

Understanding Open-heart surgery as the patient

Open-heart surgery is complicated and delicate, yes, but the details tend to get exaggerated in the public mind (which is fair, considering that open heart surgery used to be something very different than it is now). The truth is that open-heart surgery may not be simple, but it’s not as bad as we tend to think. Here are some details that might change the way you see this procedure.

“Open-heart” doesn’t mean what you think

Open-heart surgery is actually defined as any procedure where the chest is cut open and the heart is worked on–and, thanks to today’s technology, that can usually be accomplished with a small incision. It doesn’t quite live up to the mental image that its name creates!

Heart surgery can be necessary for a variety of reasons

There are a variety of problems that must be fixed with open-heart surgery, from heart transplantation to heart valve repair. Although heart surgery is used in many situations, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute says that coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is the most common type of heart surgery done on adults.

The procedure itself is simple enough in writing

You may think that heart surgery is always complicated–and to doctors who need to focus on every detail, it’s certainly not easy. Luckily, it’s not hard for patients to understand the basic procedure. In a CABG, general anesthesia is given, an eight- to ten-inch incision is made in the chest, the breastbone is cut to expose the heart, healthy arteries are used to bypass a blocked artery, and then the breastbone is wired, and the incision is closed.

For more information and how Heart Hugger can help post-surgery recovery, contact us today!



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