Is This The Same As Robotic Surgery
While some centers around the country use a surgical robot to perform mitral valve surgery, my approach is considered traditional surgery. I choose not to use a robot. This means my patients benefit from the same outcomes of traditional surgery, which is supported by decades of research, but they get the added benefit of a minimally invasive approach.
There is no denying robotic surgery has revolutionized many complex procedures, however, when it comes to heart valve surgery the robotic approach requires multiple small incisions and takes longer to complete than a mini-thoracotomy. I have performed more than 3,500 heart valve surgeries during my career, and more than 1,000 of those have taken place at UT Southwestern’s William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital.
This means the same intake team, the same OR team, and the same post-surgery recovery team have taken care of my patients more than 1,000 times.
I Wear My Open Heart Surgery Scar Like A Piece Of New Jewelry
I was a regular at yoga and Pilates classes. Then my doctors pronounced me at “high risk for sudden death.”
Early last year, at about the time I should have been planning my 50th birthday celebration making reservations at a fancy restaurant or booking a flight to an exotic locale I was prepping for heart surgery.
I needed the operation to address a deadly genetic heart condition that had gone undetected until age 41, when cardiologists pronounced me high risk for sudden death. The diagnosis was hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or HCM, which is the leading cause of sudden death in young athletes. A problematic gene had caused the wall of my left ventricle to grow to three times larger than a normal size, which prevented it from filling properly. The obstruction was blocking adequate blood flow and wreaking havoc in my chest.
When I received the initial diagnosis, it was a startling and abrupt turn in the road for someone who had previously enjoyed vibrantly good health, with frequent yoga classes and plenty of green juices. I later learned that heart disease, which kills more women than all cancers combined,
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Cardiology appointments began to pepper my weeks the way Pilates classes used to. Instead of working up a sweat, I could be found flipping through magazines in a waiting room filled with the silver-haired set.
Nurse Julie Asks About Aortic Valve Surgery Symptoms And Female Scars For Her Daughter
By Adam Pick on December 4, 2008
Something wonderful comes over me when I receive a thoughtful email from a loving caregiver.
Since I was/am an aortic and pulmonary valve replacement patient, I can directly relate to the fear, uncertainty and doubt that caregivers encounter as they collect information on behalf of their family and friends.
So you know Sometimes I can email back-and-forth up to 30 times with nervous caregivers as their loved ones prepare and recover from heart valve repair and/or heat valve replacement.
That said, I thought you might like to read a recent email exchange between Julie and myself. Julies daughter has an aortic aneurysm and a leaky aortic valve. Here is what she writes:
My eighteen year-old daughter is scheduled to have open heart surgery in Gainesville, Florida. I am a nurse and know far to well the risks that or of the things that could go wrong.
Im trying very hard to ignore the negative possibilities and concentrate on the improved health after surgery. Only thing is She really isnt having any negative health issues at the current time. I didnt want to wait until she is sick to have surgery. She has a aortic aneurysm and a leaking aortic valve. Both of which will be corrected in the surgery. But, now as it gets closer to the surgery date Im having second thoughts. What if this is the wrong thing to do??
Looking forward to your suggestions and comments.
Thank you! Julie
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Whats Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery And Why Is It A Better Way To Go
Minimally invasive cardiac surgery along with its technology is, in my opinion, the most exciting evolution towards an improved, low-impact and soft-touch way to treat our cardiovascular patients.
Most cardiac patients now enjoy a faster, more comfortable recovery regardless of their age and/or overall physical condition. Many of my patients are able to leave the hospital and return to their homes two to three days after surgery. Furthermore, surgical scars are much smaller and in women can be completely hidden out of sight in the skin fold underneath the breast.
Let me give you a straightforward perspective on how we achieved these improvements. Cardiac surgery has been around since the early 1960s and it has always been associated with a common assumption in the training routine of all cardiac surgeons The cutting of the breast bone .
- Sternotomy: The overwhelming majority of traditional open heart operations have required a 8 to 12 incision that cuts through the breastbone in the center of the chest.
I will show how this assumption has been challenged by a strong clinical interest in developing new techniques and technologies to allow cardiac patients a rapid and uneventful return to a healthy and productive lifestyle.
This patient was afraid of the surgery and did not want a scar in the middle of her chest. She kept postponing the surgery with great risk to her health until she found out about the techniques used in my practice.
Have a great, healthy day,
What Is Recovery Like After Open
Recovery time varies depending on the surgery type, complications and your overall health before surgery. It can take 6 to 12 weeks to recover from an open-heart procedure.
Your surgeon will let you know when you can return to work and other activities. Typically, you shouldnt drive or lift anything heavy for the first six weeks.
Some people need to take blood thinners after heart surgery to prevent blood clots. Your healthcare provider may also recommend cardiac rehabilitation. This medically supervised program can help you regain strength and stamina and improve overall heart health.
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What Happens After Open
Depending on the procedure, you may stay in the hospital intensive care unit for a day or longer. When youre ready, you will move to a regular hospital room.
You can expect to stay several days in the hospital. Your heart care team will explain how to care for your incision. You may have a special firm pillow to protect your chest when you cough, sneeze or get out of bed.
After surgery, you may experience:
Who Is A Candidate For Minimally Invasive Heart Valve Surgery
Although there are rare cases in which I would recommend traditional surgery, most people are eligible for a minimally invasive surgery.Its common for people to hear that theyre too old, sick, or frail to have heart valve surgery. They may not be physically able to handle a long procedure or recovery period. If they have bad knees or hips and rely on their arms to stabilize themselves, it can be even more difficult to allow the breastbone to heal following traditional heart valve surgery.This is not a problem with the minimally invasive procedure. The surgery is much shorter, which eliminates some potential complications from being under general anesthesia for a long time. And because we dont divide the breastbone, we don’t need to wait for it to heal before my patients return to their normal activities.Minimally invasive surgery also is preferable for patients who need to return to work to pay the bills. Instead of waiting a month or more, they will be back to work much quicker.
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What Are The Types Of Open
There are two ways to perform open-heart surgery:
- On-pump: A heart-lung bypass machine connects to the heart and temporarily takes over for the heart and lungs. It circulates blood through the body while moving blood away from the heart. The surgeon then operates on a heart that isnt beating and doesnt have blood flow. After surgery, the surgeon disconnects the device and the heart starts to work again.
- Off-pump:Off-pump bypass surgery takes place on a heart that continues to beat on its own. This approach only works for coronary artery bypass grafting surgery . Your surgeon may call this beating-heart surgery.
When Should I Call The Doctor
You should call your healthcare provider if you experience:
- Chest pain other than normal discomfort at the incision.
- Signs of infection at the surgical site, such as oozing and redness.
- Slurred speech or other signs of stroke.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Open-heart surgery is a life-saving procedure. But it is also a major surgery. Recovery can be long. When possible, you should take steps to improve your health like exercising, losing weight and quitting smoking before surgery. These actions may make recovery easier. Its normal to have concerns before undergoing a heart procedure. Dont hesitate to share questions and concerns with your healthcare provider.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/25/2021.
Also Check: What Is Normal Resting Heart Rate
How Parents Of Children Born With Heart Defects Share Their Hope
When Lauren Backe was still pregnant and asked about Everlys future, doctors told her the girl would live to adulthood defined as 18 years old. Her heart turned out to be in worse condition than when the family received that prognosis, but her mom stays hopeful.
I try really hard not to think about how long shell live, because I think theres a really good chance that there will be more technological and scientific improvements to improve her life span, she said.
The Best Treatment For Open Heart Surgery Scars
As mentioned above, silicone gel and sheeting are considered the first-line therapy to manage and minimize scarring. While there are several brands of silicone gel products on the market, NewGel+ offers the widest variety of silicone scar treatment products available. Our silicone strips, sheets, and gel are perfect for open heart surgery scars as well as scars resulting from any other type of abdominal or back surgeries.
Clinical studies have shown that silicone gel and sheeting are considered the first line therapy to manage and minimize scarring.
If youre searching for silicone gel sheeting in drugstores, you may notice that these sheets are only a few inches long. Since open heart surgery scars can be up to 10 inches long, multiple sheets would have to be overlapped to cover longer scars. One box doesnt go very far! NewGel+ has a variety of lengths to provide plenty of options for the coverage you need, and strips can be cut to fit whatever size scar you have.
Since open heart surgery can be an emotional and stressful procedure, let NewGel+ handle your scar management needs. Find your perfect match by browsing our product collection now.
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Finding Strength In Her Scars
Although her grandparents suffered from high blood pressure and aortic stenosis, VanSingels condition does not appear to be genetic.
Im the only one in the family with this type of heart condition. It was just a fluke, she says.
As a result of her surgeries, VanSingel has two sternotomy scars as well as other scars associated with various procedures.
However, she has never felt compelled to hide them.
My parents taught me to be proud of who I am, she says, adding, My scars are a part of my identity. I cant envision myself without them.
Nor does VanSingel mind answering questions about her scars.
Im an open book when it comes to talking about my heart condition and scars, she says.
She has also learned an important lesson when faced with hurtful comments about the scars, especially during her teen years: Dont let another persons words change the way you feel about yourself.
Facing Life’s Challenges Head
VanSingel faces a future surgery to repair a leaking pulmonary valve. Shes also experienced episodes of atrial fibrillation for which her heart was shocked back into rhythm and may face a future catheter ablation to treat the condition.
Because of her heart history, she was advised not to become pregnant. Without hesitation, she and her husband, Brian, chose to expand their family through adoption. They are now the proud parents of a beautiful 3-year-old daughter who was born prematurely with heart and lung issues.
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1. My scar shocked me at first, too
Id lost motor functions due to strokes prior to my surgery, so afterward I had to relearn how to do everything. I had to walk, talk, and eat, with help. My mom had to bathe me. One day, when it was just her and I in the house, I told my mom I wanted to try showering on my own. As she dragged a chair over to supervise, I took off my clothes and stepped in front of the mirror. I knew that I needed to really see myself in this new body and make peace with it, because Id never be the same as before.
That was the first time I actually stared at my scar.
I looked at it for a long time, examining the size and color of it, assessing how much space that line from the bottom of my rib cage to the middle of my chest really took up. And it was hard at first, I’m not going to lie. I was confused and angry. I asked myself over and over why this had happened to me. I was a young, healthy dancer I never did any drugs or went to parties. I tried to do everything rightso why was I being punished?
That moment staring in the mirror was very upsetting for me. But once we got the scar cleaned off, and once I began gaining back some weight, and my hair started to grow back following my illness, I started to feel better and have a new perspective.
2. Time changes my feelings about my scar
3. My scar communicates my strength to the world
4. My scar sets me apart from the crowdin a good way
5. Having unblemished skin is not whats important in life
Posted: Jun 15 : 29 Am
Gospel singer-songwriter Amy Grant has shared photos of her battle scar following her miraculous recovery from unexpected open heart surgery.
The Saved By Love hitmaker successfully underwent the procedure on June 3 to correct a partial anomalous pulmonary venous return , a congenital heart condition.
Grant took to Instagram on Sunday to give fans an update on her surgery and recovery.
The 59-year-old Grammy winner likened the experience to a non-runner who was signed up for a marathon, adding that the support and prayer she received from friends, fans, and family was just pushing me through.
My recovery has honestly felt miraculous, she said. I want to say thank you to each person who said a prayer for me. Prayer changes everything. She wrote alongside a series of photos showing the long scar in the middle of her chest.
Grant had started her post by addressing the crisis of the coronavirus pandemic and global protests prompted by the death of George Floyd, saying it was a crazy, broken, yet beautiful time.
I know there is so much going on in the world right now. This is a crazy, broken, yet beautiful time. And in the midst of all of that in the midst of all of our awareness and becoming and learning to love and see each other.
She signed off by urging her followers to keep those prayers going for our country and lets turn all the brokenness into love and seeing each other.
Preparing For Open Heart Surgery
Heart surgery corrects problems when other treatments dont work or cant be used for some reason. The most common type of heart surgery for adults iscoronary artery bypass grafting. In bypass surgery, arteries or veins are removed from elsewhere in your body and grafted to reroute blood around a clogged artery to supply blood to your heart muscle.
Your health care team which may include surgeons, cardiologists, anesthesiologists, nurses, and therapists will discuss your operation with you. Theyll welcome your questions.
If your heart surgery is planned, and not an emergency, youll meet first with your doctor and health care team. Theyll tell you what to expect and how to prepare. Before your surgery:
Standing Up To Surgical Scars
Kristin VanSingel is proud of her scars, the result of several critical heart surgeries since infancy that have kept her alive.
Kristin VanSingel is no stranger to surgery or to keeping a positive attitude in the face of adversity. The 36-year-old wears her surgical scars with pride as a reminder of what shes overcome.
Born with a serious heart condition, VanSingel had her first cardiac surgery at just one day old.
My parents were concerned when I was born because I was gray in color, says the real estate agent and blog contributor.
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The Heart Valve Hotline
My team works closely to ensure that every patient gets the best experience possible. When you call us, our heart valve team, led by Steva Smartt, R.N., answers the phone 24/7. We stay with you throughout the entire process from that first phone call to the first visit, and all the way to your discharge. If at any point you have a question, we are always available to you.