1. What is Cardiac Surgery?
The heart is an organ in the body which is accountable for pumping blood with nutrients and oxygen throughout the body.
Cardiac Surgery (also called Cardiovascular Surgery or Cardio thoracic Surgery) is a surgery that is performed on patients with serious cardiac aliments that can treated only via a surgical procedure. The surgery improves the quality of life and increases chances of survival. The surgery is often used to treat cardiac problems like multiple blockages in the arteries, congenital heart disease, repair or replace heart valves or implant medical devices to support the heart function. Heart transplantation, a rarely performed procedure, also comes under Cardiac Surgery. There are various types of cardiac surgery, designed to correct different problems.
2. Who is a Cardiac Surgeon?
A cardiac surgeon is a doctor who specializes in heart-related surgical procedures to fix the damage caused by cardiovascular diseases and disorders that cannot be treated via medicines.
3. When to visit a cardiac surgeon?
If you feel chest pain or discomfort very often, experience heart palpitations, irregular heartbeats, shortness of breath, fainting or near fainting, or you're feeling lightheaded or dizzy, see your cardiologist immediately. Then a cardiologist refers a patient to a cardiac surgeon if a report of the cardiological examination is not normal and require a surgical procedure.
After diagnosis of your heart disease by an experienced cardiologist, he/she will decide whether the ailment can be treated medically or requires surgical intervention. Basis the reports, symptoms and medical condition of the patient, if a surgery is required then you will be referred to a super-specialist cardiac surgeon.
4. What type of procedures do cardiac surgeons perform?
Depending on the medical condition of the patient, a cardiac surgeon may take a decision to perform open-heart cardiac surgery or minimally invasive procedure (by performing only small incisions between the ribs).
The most common cardiovascular procedures are Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (commonly called Heart Bypass Surgery), Heart Valve Replacement, Cardiomyoplasty, Angioplasty, Aortic Aneurysm Surgery, Transmyocardial Revascularization (TMR) and Implantation of devices to support the heart function.
5. What should a patient expect from an appointment with a cardiac surgeon?
A cardiac surgeon who sees you for your cardiovascular surgery may ask following questions:
- What are the signs and symptoms you are facing?
- Have your symptoms gotten worse over time?
- Have you ever fainted?
- Have you ever coughed up blood?
- Are you aware of any history of heart problems in your family?
- Have you ever had rheumatic fever?
- Are you on blood thinners?
- Are you allergic to any medications?
- Have you recently been treated for any other health conditions?
Basis your answers to the above questions and medical reports, the cardiac surgeon will plan your surgery.