Open heart surgery is an operation to repair a fault or damage in the heart. The operation requires the surgeon to open the chest to access the heart.The most common type of open heart surgery is a coronary artery bypass.The coronary arteries supply the heart with blood. If the arteries become blocked or narrowed due to heart disease, a person may be at risk of a heart attack.
The operation involves taking a healthy blood vessel from another part of the body and using it to bypass the blocked arteries.Another open-heart procedure involves replacing a faulty aortic valve. The aortic heart valve prevents blood from flowing back into parts of the heart after the heart has pumped it out.Surgeons also perform open-heart surgery to repair aneurysms, which are bulges in the main artery leaving the heart.
Preparation for open heart surgery starts the night before. A person should eat an evening meal as usual but must not consume any food or drink after midnight.It is a good idea to wear loose, comfortable clothing to assist with restricted movement following surgery, but wear whatever is comfortable.
Be sure to have all personal medical information on hand. This might include a list of medications, recent illness, and insurance information.It is normal to feel anxious before an anesthetic, and people should not hesitate to seek reassurance from the healthcare team.
The doctor may request that the person washes their upper body with antibacterial soap. A member of the healthcare team may need to shave the person’s chest area before they can have the anesthetic.
The doctors may also need to run tests before surgery, such as monitoring the heart or taking blood samples. A doctor or nurse might place a line into a vein to enable the delivery of fluids.
After the medical team has completed the preliminary tasks, the anesthesiologist will administer general anesthesia.