Q:

How is open heart surgery performed?

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Quick Answer

During an open heart surgery, a patient is given anesthesia and a cut is made in the chest to give access to the heart before a person is connected to a heart-lung machine. This surgical operation is usually performed to conduct a coronary artery bypass graft surgery, especially in patients suffering from coronary heart disease, as stated by Healthline.

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Full Answer

A person is usually given a general anesthesia to make him or her fall asleep and to make the whole procedure pain-free. This is followed by making an 8- to 10-inch incision through the chest. The surgeon cuts through all the parts in the chest to get to the heart. The patient is then connected to a heart-lung machine once the surgeon gets to the heart. The machine helps to clear blood from the heart to allow the operation, as stated by the National Institutes of Health's MedlinePlus. A healthy artery or vein is used in creating another path around the clogged artery.

There are several risks associated with this surgery, including blood clots, breathing difficulty, blood loss, irregular heart pulse, infection in the chest, chest pain, kidney or lung failure, memory loss and heart attack. There is early preparation that is required before a person undergoes this operation. It is necessary for one to tell the doctor about their lifestyle and medications they are using.

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