Heart surgery is performed by specially trained Cardiac Surgeons. It is usually an open heart procedure – meaning that the chest cavity is opened to gain access to the heart and then do whatever is needed to fix and alleviate the problem.
There are many types of cardiac surgery including Coronary Artery By Pass Graft Surgery (CABG) more commonly called “Bypass Surgery”, Surgery fro various valve problems including valve repairs and replacement, surgery to repair any congenital or inherited heart defects, close any holes, reconstruct the passages etc, surgery to repair / replace the aorta and main arteries, surgery for the pericardial disease (pericardium is the sac around the heart) and surgery for serious infections in the heart tissue / valves.
Generally it has to planned and executed carefully as a number of specialists and teams are involved in this procedure including cardiac surgeons and their assistants, anesthetic team, perfusionists, Intensive Care team and nursing team. Generally speaking the heart is stopped and the body is put on “bypass” machine which continues to deliver oxygen rich blood to the whole body for the duration of the surgery.
After the procedure the patient is nursed in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and then brought in the ward when stable. Cardiac rehabilitation is standard after heart surgery