- Isn’t open heart surgery too risky for me?
- The risk versus benefit of any major decisions must be carefully evaluated let alone something as important as your heart. In severe multiple vessels heart disease, the risk of not unblocking these arteries can significantly limit our life expectancy so the risk of not having the operation may be much higher than going through it. The surgeons employ a set of internationally adopted risk profiling criteria to estimate the risk of the operation. This will be discussed in details during the consultation and allow you to make an informed decision.
- My health will never be the same after this operation?
- This is simply not true. Vast majority of patients make an uneventful recovery. In a few months you will be back to your active routine lifestyle. In fact, a lot of the patients felt a second lease of life as their heart are once again able to get a healthy supply of blood and oxygen through the new grafts.
- I heard about minimal invasive coronary artery bypass (MIDCAB) surgery. Can you tell me more about this “keyhole” surgery?
- In a very selected group of patients they may only need a single bypass graft to the blocked left coronary artery. Skilled surgeons can do a small incision between the left ribs and free up the rib cage artery (internal mammary artery) and graft it to the heart. This has the added benefit of a smaller scar, much faster recovery and no extra surgical wound in the leg.
It is also possible to combine coronary angioplasty with this MIDCAB surgery in a hybrid approach. Here the surgeons will put a single graft and the cardiologist place stents in the other 2 vessels hence unblock all the arteries. These are highly specialized procedures and careful discussion amongst the surgeon, the interventional cardiologist and the patient should take place before committing to it.