A remarkable powerhouse, the human heart beats tirelessly to supply blood to every body part. But what happens when this vital organ encounters roadblocks along its path? A heart bypass surgery is an option to mend the pathways and restore the rhythm of life. Now the question remains: When is heart bypass surgery required?
Here, we discuss what heart bypass surgery is and when it is required. We further talk about the heart bypass surgery cost and procedure. Continue reading to know the triggers that prompt this intricate procedure and whether you are a candidate for the procedure.
What is Heart Bypass Surgery?
Heart bypass surgery, also called coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), improves blood flow to your heart. The surgery is performed by taking a healthy blood vessel from another part of the body to bypass the blocked or damaged artery in the heart.
Doctors recommend this surgery when the coronary arteries (which supply the heart muscle with oxygenated blood) become narrowed or blocked due to plaque buildup. This narrowing or blockage restricts blood flow to the heart and may lead to heart failure.
When is a Heart Bypass Surgery Done?
A heart bypass surgery is performed to treat the symptoms of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). CAD occurs when plaque builds up inside the arteries (atherosclerosis), blocking blood and oxygen flow to the heart.
Heart Bypass surgery is also performed as an emergency for heart attacks when other treatments do not work. You may need heart bypass surgery in the following situations:
- A blockage in the left main heart artery supplies most blood to the heart muscle.
- Severe narrowing of the main coronary artery.
- More than one diseased heart artery causes the left ventricle (the heart chamber that pumps most blood) not to work well.
- Severe chest pain is caused by the blockage of several arteries that supply blood to your heart.
- A blocked coronary artery can not be treated with other procedures like coronary angioplasty (a less-invasive treatment that uses a balloon to widen the artery).
- An angioplasty that either did not work or your artery is narrowed again.
The Procedure of a Heart Bypass Surgery
A heart bypass surgery is a major operation performed in a hospital. Cardiovascular surgeons (doctors trained in heart surgery) perform this surgery. The procedure generally takes 3-6 hours to complete. You can expect the following in the operation theatre:
- Anaesthesia: You will be given general anaesthesia, ensuring you are unconscious and the surgery is pain-free.
- Blood Vessel Harvesting: The surgeon will remove the healthy vessels from your leg, arm, or chest to bypass the blockage.
- Cardiopulmonary Bypass: You will be connected to a heart-lung bypass machine to take over the heart’s pumping function temporarily.
This machine circulates oxygenated blood throughout the body, allowing the surgeon to work on the heart. However, it is not always necessary.
- Grafting: New graft (healthy) vessels will be attached above and below the blockage. This creates a new pathway for blood flow, bypassing the blockage and restoring blood supply to the heart muscle.
- Checking Blood Flow: Once the grafts are in place, the surgeon restores blood flow to the heart by gradually removing the patient from the cardiopulmonary bypass. They check if the blood is flowing through the heart vessel correctly.
- Closure: After confirming that the heart is functioning well, the surgeon will fix the sternum (breastbone) with metal wires and close the incision in the chest using sutures or staples.
Advantages of Heart Bypass Surgery
Heart bypass surgery offers several advantages in treating coronary artery disease (CAD) and related heart conditions. Some of the key advantages include:
- Effective for Multiple Blockages: Heart bypass surgery is often the most preferred option when you have multiple blocked arteries in your heart. It is also recommended when there are blockages in certain places.
- Improves Life Expectancy: Heart bypass surgery can extend the life expectancy of individuals with severe coronary artery disease.
Restoring proper blood flow to the heart and reducing the risk of heart attacks and other life-threatening events improves the chances of survival.
- Reduced Risk of Follow-up Procedures: An angioplasty is the main alternative procedure to heart bypass surgery. Angioplasty usually requires a follow-up procedure. Meanwhile, the chances of follow-up procedures are reduced in bypass surgery.
Cost of Heart Bypass Surgery
Bypass surgery cost in India ranges between ₹ 1,40,000 to ₹ 3,50,000. The average cost of bypass surgery is about ₹ 2,45,000. However, the cost of the bypass surgery can vary between different centres and hospitals based on multiple factors, including:
- Consultation fee
- Diagnostic tests
- Admission fee
- Type of surgery
- Type of room and hospital
- Location or city of the hospital
- Patient’s age
- Your medical condition
Heart bypass surgery is necessary to address severe coronary artery disease (CAD) and restore adequate blood flow to the heart muscle. By bypassing narrowed or blocked arteries, this surgical procedure alleviates the risk of life-threatening complications like heart attacks.
Heart bypass surgery aims to improve overall heart function, enhance the quality of life, and give patients a chance for a healthier future. As a comprehensive healthcare platform, HexaHealth can assist you in your heart bypass surgery journey. Our team provides access from a network of experienced cardiac surgeons to postoperative support for a successful recovery. Contact us TODAY to know more!