Heart Surgery Scars

Heart Surgery Scars Heart surgery scars are a painful reminder of a long healing process following the trauma of open heart surgery. A sternotomy scar is often large and may remain tender long after the surgery. Surgery is, by nature, an invasive trauma to the body. Scars are the result of the body’s efforts to repair the damage. Why Don’t Scars Go Away? When the dermis, or skin, is damaged, the body does its best to repair the damage. Since the dermis is the first line of defense against invading germs and bacteria, it must be repaired as quickly and efficiently as possible. Therefore, rather than take the time to regrow normal skin, the body resorts to producing large amounts of collagen, a thick, fibrous tissue, producing a scar and protecting the body from invading bacteria. Do the Scars From Open Heart Surgery Go Away? While scars fade over time, a sternotomy scar will never fade entirely. The damage to the dermis and underlying tissue is far too extensive for the body to heal entirely. The scar may remain tender and “tight” for years following the surgery and will never go away. There are steps the patient can take to reduce scarring and help the body heal following surgery, but the open heart surgery scar will always remain. Can You Replace Scar Tissue with Normal Tissue? It is not possible to replace scar tissue. Producing scar tissue and healing the incisions from invasive surgery takes all of the body’s resources. Once the wound is sealed and the body protected from foreign bodies and bacteria, the scar is permanent. It...

Is a Bypass Open Heart Surgery

  Let’s talk about open heart surgery.  Many people worldwide have some concerns and health issues surrounding the areas of their heart. Whether it is high blood pressure or blocked arteries, there are very many different types of procedures that people can undergo in order to relieve pain, to ensure that blood is flowing properly to the heart, or relieve stress off of areas that shouldn’t be working as hard as possible. If you have gone to your doctor and they mentioned that you will have to go through bypass surgery, there may be some questions that arise – which is completely normal! Is it Open Heart Surgery? No, it’s not like open heart surgery that people think of when the whole chest cavity has to be opened in order to assess and fix the problems areas. Bypass surgery is honestly, just what it sounds like. An incision will be made in the chest region and you will be hooked up to machine whilst your heart is stopped. The bypass procedure will be conducted and then blood flow will start again. Oftentimes there are arteries that are blocked that are disrupting proper blood flow to the heart. Bypass surgery is generally used in those patients that suffer from heart disease (specifically when the coronary arteries are blocked.) The bypass surgery is like a detour for the blood to travel to ensure your heart is obtaining the blood that it needs to. Open Heart Surgery Substitutions There are such procedures called bypass grafts which will utilize properly functioning blood vessels from a different part of the body. These are removed...

Minimally Invasive Heart Bypass Surgery

A coronary bypass surgery is necessary when patients have one or both of their coronary arteries blocked. When the arteries are blocked, it means that your heart is not getting enough blood. This affects the rest of your body because your heart is no longer efficient. You may feel tired or have chest pain, or you may have no symptoms at all. Regular check ups can help identify if you or a loved one is suffering from heart disease. If you’re past the point of prevention, surgery may be right for you. There are different options for blocked arteries, including stents or surgery. We believe that stents are not a permanent solution, and recommend going with the permanent fix. We understand the need for research and second opinions. Minimally invasive heart bypass surgery is a great option for many patients, especially old, frail, or otherwise high risk patients. Why Coronary Heart Bypass Surgery? In minimally invasive surgery, Dr. Ciuffo makes a tiny 2″ incision in your side and performs the surgery using specialty tools. We are now able to perform a coronary artery bypass while the heart is beating, with no need for a heart lung machine. In expert hands, this technique allows excellent results and a shorter, less complicated postoperative course. Without the heart lung machine, surgery is much less invasive and simply better for patients. Clinical studies are beginning to show that this technique is associated to much less bleeding and very few patients require transfusions. It is better tolerated by the lungs and kidneys, which is a great advantage in patients with emphysema and/or renal insufficiency. It might also...

Less Blood Loss With Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery

There are many benefits to minimally invasive heart surgery, including a shorter recovery time, a lower risk of infection, reduced trauma, reduced pain, almost invisible scars, and less blood loss. There are methods so advanced, that we can eliminate the need for blood transfusions. For people with concerns over blood transfusions, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, this is potentially life-saving! Dr. Ciuffo is the Director of the Minimally Invasive and Bloodless Heart Surgery program at Mercy Medical Center, so you know that you will be in the absolute best hands with him. Blood Saving Techniques To minimize blood loss, Dr. Ciuffo employs special techniques. These techniques reduce the risk excessive of bleeding during surgery and post-operatively. Surgery is performed through a tiny 2″ incision in the side Use of the heart lung machine to keep entire blood volume in circulation Use of beating heart surgery when necessary Use of cell saver/blood salvage machine Removing some of patient’s blood before surgery and stored until after surgery* Careful cell recycling of blood that is transferred to surgical gauze sponges Controlled surface bleeding with topical hemostatic agents Dilution of blood volume with saline solution Patient kept with a low blood pressure through surgery Intra-operative electro-cautery or argon beam blood vessel coagulation *This method is not used for Jehovah’s Witnesses as blood needs to be stored Schedule A Consultation With Dr. Ciuffo If you or someone who love is in need of heart surgery and considering our low-impact, soft touch approach, get in touch with Dr. Ciuffo today. Our team of experts can help you understand the benefits (and the risks) associated with this surgery compared to...

Inoperable Heart Condition

If you have a high risk heart condition, your local doctor may say your case is inoperable. This may simply be because your local doctor doesn’t know about new, specialty techniques available out there. It is extremely important for anyone who has been diagnosed as high risk or inoperable to get a second opinion. Dr. Giovanni Ciuffo is well versed and experienced in creating solutions for all types of heart conditions. Inoperable Diagnosis After your diagnosis, ask your local cardiologist and heart surgeon why you’ve been diagnosed this way. Write down their answers. An expert in high risk cardiac cases can often handle many risk factors with excellent results These successful techniques may not be available in your area. There may be outside problems that are stopping your local doctor. For instance, bad lungs may be blamed for symptoms related to the heart condition. Fixing the heart condition might reverse these symptoms enough to save a patient and restore quality of life. Patients also need to ask about their chances without surgery. Some surgeons neglect to tell patients that going without surgery is significantly riskier than the surgery to fix it. It is important to know this to help you make the right choice and consider a second opinion. Obtain copies of all your imaging studies (i.e.: CAT scans, Echocardiograms, Left Heart Catheterizations, Stress Tests, MRI’s) and medical reports. Contact a center with expertise in high risk and inoperable heart surgery cases and request an evaluation of your case. Request A Second Opinion If you’ve been diagnosed as inoperable, please know that this is not final. Dr. Ciuffo works with many high risk patients every day to...

Advanced Heart Surgery

Advanced heart surgery techniques continue to shape and evolve our cardiac specialty, giving patients more options and better results than traditional surgery. Dr. Ciuffo uses highly sophisticated and effective minimally invasive techniques to treat heart disease very effectively! The minimally invasive heart surgery approach is low impact and virtually scarless, giving even the most frail patients an option. Our patients’ heart surgery experience and postoperative recovery is quick and easy compared to the traditional open heart surgery methods. The benefits of Dr. Ciuffo’s minimally invasive procedures include low impact surgery, no broken bones, a quicker recovery, improved quality of life, as well as an almost invisible scar. Advanced Heart Surgery Procedures Dr. Ciuffo performs a wide variety of cardiac procedures, to meet the unique needs of the world. There are many patients who travel the globe in order to receive his life saving care. Some of our top procedures include: “Inoperable” Aortic Aneurysms (NOT inoperable!) Bloodless Heart Surgery Minimally Invasive Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) Repair Minimally Invasive Mitral Valve Repair Minimally Invasive Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery All Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery Procedures If you don’t see what you need, that doesn’t mean that Dr. Ciuffo can’t help you. His ongoing research and the continued evolution of advanced heart surgery and minimally invasive techniques show new options every day. Talk With Dr. Ciuffo Dr. Ciuffo is an expert in high risk, inoperable, and advanced heart surgery cases. He can evaluate your case and handle risk factors with our bloodless and minimally invasive techniques with excellent results, that are simply not available or not even known about at your local doctor’s office. Request your second opinion. Don’t let an...