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Types of Heart Surgery: Conditions and Procedures

13 February 2015

Nearly 600,000 individuals in the US die ever year due to heart disease. In fact, it is the leading cause of deaths in women and men. Heart disease can be caused due to heart defects, valve problems, heart infections, weak cardiac muscles, irregular heart beat and cardiovascular disease. There are numerous surgeries through which heart diseases can be treated, and the advances in technology have made it possible to treat these conditions effectively.

However, procedural costs seem to be a major concern for most patients, and given that it is a question of life or death, patients cannot choose to put off or postpone these surgeries because they do not have the adequate financial resources. It has made patients seek out alternate avenues, in affordable heart surgery destinations like Greece, Thailand, Brazil, India and Singapore, as these healthcare hotspots have many world-class cardiac specialist institutions.

Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG)

Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG), known as Heart Bypass Surgery is the most predominantly performed cardiac surgery. In this surgery, surgeons bypass arteries that are clogged, by using veins and arteries from other healthy parts. It can relieve the patient off chest pain, improve heart blood pumping activities and reduce heart attack risks. It is carried out on individuals with a severe Coronary heart disease (CAD).

Tran Myocardial Laser Revascularization (TLR)

A rarely performed cardiac procedure, TLR treats cases of angina when other treatments are not effective. When TMR is solely carried out, the surgeon may create a tiny opening on the chest. He/She makes use of lasers to create small channels that go through the cardiac muscles onto the heart's left ventricle. It allows oxygen-rich blood to circulate from the chambers onto the cardiac muscles..

Arrhythmia treatment

Patients with arrhythmia have an irregular heart beat rhythm, wherein it beats too slow or fast. The heart is unable to pump adequate amounts of blood as compared to its usual normal functionality. While it does not usually pose a risk, it can be life-threatening in some cases such as arterial fibrillation. It can damage the other organs in the individual. During the surgery, the surgeon uses an Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) or a pacemaker. These devices help restore the heart rhythm to its usual state by using electrical impulses of low-energy. A maze surgery may be performed in some cases, wherein the surgeon creates new pathways to allow the electrical signals to travel from the heart.

Heart Valve Replacement Surgery

The heart functions optimally when the blood flows in one direction, which is facilitated by the heart valves. In some cases the flaps on the heart valves do not open adequately, as they have resumed a stiff or thick disposition or are fused together. It leads to insufficient blood circulation in the arteries. In case the leaflets do not completely close, the blood may leak into the heart chambers. The condition can be corrected by either repairing or replacing the heart valves.

Aneurysm repair

Aneurysm is a condition where the artery walls or the cardiac muscles experience a ballooning or bulging effect. The pressure from the blood flow may lead other weak areas in the arteries or the heart to the balloon. The bulge may grow with time and even burst, causing the blood to bleed inside, which can be fatal. It can be repaired by means of a graft or a patch.

Heart transplantation

Heart transplant surgery is performed on individuals with a diseased heart, to replace it with a healthy heart that is obtained from a donor. It is typically carried out on patients with end-stage cardiac failure, wherein all other treatments have failed. The heart is either weak or damaged patients with a cardiac failure.

Ventricular assist devices (VAD)

These devices either support or take over the pumping action of the heart. They are placed in cases where the patient has suffered a heart failure and is not showing any improvements with other treatments, or if they are waiting for heart transplants. The device can be placed by means of an open-heart surgery.

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