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Minimally Invasive Heart Surgeons: How to Choose

Minimally invasive heart surgeons perform procedures that cause less trauma and pain, resulting in quicker recovery times compared to open-heart surgery. These surgeons perform procedures using small incisions in your chest as a safer alternative to open-heart surgery. Rather than having to cut through your breastbone, minimally invasive heart surgeon qualifications allow them to operate between the ribs, resulting in less pain and faster recovery time. In fact, surgeons sometimes have a better view of certain areas of the heart than with open-heart surgery. The vast majority of minimally invasive procedures don’t require the surgeon to stop your heart. How do I know if I’m a good candidate for a minimally invasive heart procedure? Depending on various personal factors, minimally invasive surgery might be the perfect option for you. Other benefits may include: Lower risk of infections Less blood loss Reduced pain and trauma Shorter hospital or clinic stay Smaller and less noticeable scars It’s also very important that your minimally invasive surgeon strives for cohesion and clear, open communication within his team. It’s vital that the team know your specific needs and whether or not minimally invasive surgery is for you. In addition, you want your heart specialists to exhibit those same characteristics with all your other healthcare providers. Other Preparation? Make sure you’ve had a recent physical examination, with a complete review of your medical history and blood analysis. There is a chance you may have to get your procedure done at a medical center. This decision is based on your physicians’ and specialists’ evaluation of your condition. What kind of minimally invasive heart procedures are available?...

Bloodless Heart Surgery Recovery

Heart surgery is one of the most sophisticated and complex types of surgery. It is demanding and requires an excellent team of physicians, assistants, and support personnel. Minimally invasive heart surgery significantly decreases the amount of trauma and damage to the patient and makes for a much easier recovery. What is Bloodless Heart Surgery? Related to advances in heart surgery, bloodless surgery has made great strides since the 1990s. Instead of using transfusions to replace blood lost during surgery, great efforts are made to reduce bleeding during surgery and harmonic scalpels clot blood while cutting tissue. Hemostatics stop bleeding before, during, and after surgery. Bleeding vessels can be sealed by an argon beam coagulator. Also, what blood is lost during the procedure is collected and returned to the patient’s circulatory system. Bloodless surgery avoids complications of transfusion, including disease (negligible risk), depression of immune system function, allergic reaction to additives in stored blood, and inflammatory response. Avoiding transfusions can make for a better recovery after heart surgery. Combining minimal blood loss with minimally invasive heart surgery can give excellent results for recovery, even with elderly or frail patients, who would have been a poor risk with earlier kinds of techniques. Still, the doctor’s skill and experience are important factors in how well the surgery, and the recovery, go. Does This Surgery Cause Scarring? Usually, minimally invasive heart surgery is done with a two-inch incision between the ribs. So, unlike earlier versions of heart surgery, bones do not have to be broken to gain access to the heart. Given time after surgery, the scar can fade to where it is...

Coronary Bypass Surgery: Past, Present, and Future

Although some have described cardiac surgery as a dying specialty, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Cardiac surgery today is seeing astronomical growth with innovations in minimally invasive procedures. Therefore, cardiac surgery is not sliding into obsolescence; it’s simply becoming safer and less invasive. One area of cardiac surgery – coronary artery bypass – has seen significant growth in the past decade. From minimally invasive procedures to hybrid revascularization, coronary bypass surgery is becoming increasingly safer and more effective. It is also becoming far less painful and time-consuming than open-heart coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG). A Bit of History  In the 1950s, the advent of cardiopulmonary bypass was revolutionary for the field of cardiac surgery. The first successful open heart surgery utilizing a heart-lung machine was performed in 1953. The heart-lung machine – also known as a “pump” – allows for the heart to be stopped during surgery, as it circulates and oxygenates blood for the surgeon to work on a still heart that is empty of blood. However, what seemed to be an unending supply of patients contributed to what may have been innovative complacency. In due time, this self-assurance was shattered by the advent of percutaneous coronary intervention (non-surgical procedures that improve cardiac blood flow). These procedures were able to provide the same effects as CABG and greatly reduced the volume of coronary artery bypass surgeries. It also resulted in a decline in trainees in the field. These advances have been largely consumer-driven by a society that’s always on the go, so less invasive procedures mean faster recovery times. Coronary Bypass Surgery Today  While the...

Anatomy of the Heart

Anatomy of the Heart The heart is located just behind the sternum, slightly to the left.  It’s protected by a tough sac called the pericardium. The heart needs all the protection it can get; it beats an average of 100,000 times a day, pumping about 2,000 gallons worth of blood through the body. The pericardium protects the roots of the major blood vessels. It’s attached to the spinal column and diaphragm with strong ligaments that keep the heart in place and protect it from movement within the chest. Walls of the Heart The heart’s walls are made up of three main layers; the epicardiam, myocardium, and endocardium. The epicardium is the outermost layer, a membrane that covers and protects the heart, producing lubricating fluid. The myocardium is what is commonly referred to as the heart “muscle.” It is the tissue that contracts and relaxes to produce the heartbeat, pushing the blood through the body. The endocardium is a very smooth layer of tissue that lines the interior of the heart and prevents the formation of blood clots. 4 Chambers The heart contains four chambers- the left and right atriums, and the left and right ventricles. The atria makes up the upper part of the heart. They are smaller than the ventricles, and act as the receiving chamber for blood coming back into the heart, while the ventricles push blood out into the body. There are two circulatory loops attached to the heart. The right loop circulates blood to the lungs, while the left loop pushes oxygenated blood out into the body. 4 Valves Moving blood through the heart requires...

Invasive Heart Surgery vs. Open Heart Surgery

It can be confusing to understand the difference between having minimally invasive surgery and having open heart surgery, so if you or your loved one have been told that heart surgery is needed, it’s important that you know exactly what that means. Before you have minimally invasive heart surgery in Canton, Ohio, let’s review the difference between the two options.   Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery Vs. Open Heart Surgery   With minimally invasive heart surgery, the surgeon will make the needed number of small incisions in between your ribs. Surgical instruments connected to robotic arms with a camera will be inserted into the incision. This type of robotic surgery will be controlled by the surgeon with a computerized device that allows the doctor to manipulate the instruments to perform your procedure with precision.   Open heart surgery is a surgical cardiac procedure where your chest is surgically opened to correct problems in your:   Arteries Heart muscle Valves Related structures   While your heart may not be “opened” for surgery, typically open heart surgery consists of stopping your heart while a heart-lung machine does its work so that your surgeon can perform the procedure. Open heart surgery requires a 6-8 inch incision in your chest which may involve temporary placement of a pacemaker that will help regulate your heartbeat.   Though each case is unique, open heart surgery is best when the patient needs a complex cardiac operation, complex aortic procedure, or multiple coronary artery bypass procedures.   Is there less pain from a minimally invasive surgery than from an open heart surgery?   Yes. Since minimally invasive heart...

Minimally Invasive Aortic Valve Replacement is the Best Option – Learn How it is Done and Why

Minimally Invasive Aortic Valve Replacement is the Best Option – Learn How it is Done and Why Surgical approaches to aortic valve disease have dramatically improved by the introduction of minimally invasive aortic valve replacement techniques. In light of these new technologies, elderly patients can enjoy quicker and painless recoveries. This allows them to return to their families and homes two to three days after surgery. The aortic valve is a one-way valve that opens into the Aorta. There are two basic problems that can affect its function: If it does not open properly, the heart struggles against the resistance of a closed, stiff valve impairing the ability of the heart to empty out when contracting. This condition is called Aortic Valve Stenosis. The opposite end of the spectrum shows that the same valve may be “leaky” and not close completely when the heart is in between contractions. This makes the heart’s pumping action very inefficient. A good portion of the oxygenated blood that is pumped forward will leak back into the heart. This condition is known as Aortic Valve Insufficiency or Regurgitation. Read the full article here...