Most people are worried when they learn about bypass surgery, and some of their worries are justified. During bypass surgery, a new route is made for the blood to travel in order to reach the heart without removing or cutting any blocked arteries. This is done to maintain proper blood flow, hampered by some heart artery blockages, and to re-establish the heart’s normal rhythm. All this is carried out while the patient is unconscious and the heart is still beating.
Since angioplasty, which involves inserting stents in the arteries to improve blood flow, is inefficient, people with blockages that are more than 70% of their arteries are suitable for this procedure. However, there are a lot of misconceptions about bypass surgery, and many people think it can have bad results. Dr. Sujay Shad, Professor, Senior Consultant in Cardiac Surgery, and Director of Cardiac Transplants at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital and one of the best heart surgery doctors in India, dispels a few myths about bypass surgery.
1. Bypass Surgery is A Dangerous and Perhaps Deadly Procedure.
Any procedure requiring anaesthesia has dangers associated with it. However, categorically declaring bypass surgery as hazardous and life-threatening would be unfair. A bypass operation was once thought to be a risky procedure, but because of technological advances. it is now almost considered a low-risk procedure. In the hands of a skilled surgeon, the likelihood of a successful operation is greater than 98%, and the mortality risk is 1%. This one has a very low risk compared to other procedures, such as those affecting the nervous system.
2. Stents are Less Risky than Having a Bypass.
One should be aware that stent placement is not always an option, mainly if there are between 70 and 80% blockages. Compared to stents and other medical interventions, bypass procedures have been found to be the most effective way to cure the symptoms of blockages that cause chest pain and guarantee the lowest chances of experiencing a subsequent heart attack. Long-lasting relief from blockages is provided via bypass surgery. On the other hand, the disadvantage of stent placement is that it is unlikely for a patient to get long-term advantages if stents are implanted incorrectly. However, surgery should not be undertaken if stents can provide a less invasive and viable alternative.
3. One Gets Weak After Surgery & Can No Longer Perform Regular Activities as Before
‘This is. For a full recovery from bypass surgery, the first six to eight weeks are crucial, says the best heart doctor in Delhi, Dr. Sujay Shad. One can actually return to life before the bypass once this period is finished. Bypass operations are performed to lengthen life expectancy and support a healthy lifestyle. In the three to six months following surgery, the majority of patients resume their regular lives.
4. Blockages May Form in the Grafts or Conduits Used in Bypass Surgery.
Leg veins were earlier used as grafts for the bypass procedure. These frequently became clogged after seven to eight years. Over the years, in order to optimise the entire therapy procedure, doctors have started employing arteries rather than veins. Currently, bypass surgery uses the radial artery, an artery in the forearm, as well as the internal mammary arteries, two arteries that are found on either side of the breastbone. This provides long-term benefits, and these grafts last for more than 20 to 25 years in most patients.
5. Once One Has a Bypass Surgery, One Cannot Get Another One.
Owing to technological advancements, there is a 2-3% chance of mortality after second bypass surgery, but the risks are substantial. Many patients ask doctors to initially insert stents to remove blockages so bypass surgery can be performed if the dangers reappear. Due to the current situation, the optimum conduits for the initial bypass surgery should be used, and the bilateral internal mammary arteries are the best conduits. At 20 years of follow-up, the bilateral internal mammary artery’s patency life is88 %.
6. Even though a Second or Third Heart Attack is Life-threatening, a Bypass Procedure Can Avoid Them.
After bypass surgery, 1-2% of patients may experience a heart attack. This percentage is incredibly low as compared to individuals who do not receive surgery for coronary artery blockages and have a chance of 27% mortality within 20 months of follow-up. Of course, there are other factors as well, such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, and stress. Therefore, heart attacks following bypass surgery can be avoided if one changes their lifestyle to manage these risk factors.
The facts mentioned above alone cannot be used to determine whether or not to undergo a bypass procedure. A skilled heart surgeon is strongly advised to choose which course of action is best for each individual. The optimal treatment approach would depend on a person’s age, other medical disorders like diabetes, kidney disease, aortic calcification, past medical history, etc., according to the heart surgery doctor in India. At Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi, one can seek the advice of Dr. Sujay Shad, an expert doctor who will first thoroughly examine the patient before making the best recommendation.