What Happens During Open
Heart surgery is complex. Some surgeries may take six hours or longer. You will receive anesthesia and be asleep during the procedure.
Surgery steps vary depending on the heart condition and procedure. In general, your surgeon:
- Makes a 6- to 8-inch long incision down the middle of your chest.
- Cuts the breastbone and spreads your ribcage apart to reach your heart.
- Connects the heart to a heart-lung bypass machine, if youll have an on-pump surgery. An anesthesiologist gives IV medication to stop your heart from beating and monitors you during the surgery.
- Repairs your heart.
- Restores blood flow to your heart. Usually, your heart starts beating on its own. Sometimes, the heart needs a mild electrical shock to restart it.
- Disconnects the heart-lung bypass machine.
- Closes the breastbone or other incision with wires or sutures that remain in your body.
- Uses stitches to close the skin incision.
How Long Does It Take To Recover From Heart Surgery
Recovery depends on the type of surgery and other factors like your overall health. Most people need six to 12 weeks to recover from open-heart surgery. Some people need even more time.
Follow your care teams instructions on when you can drive, go back to work, lift heavy objects or do other activities. Your care team will also offer advice on how to care for your incision. Its important to take things slow and give your body time to heal.
As you recover, you may feel:
- A clicking sensation in your chest. This should go away after a week or two. If it doesnt, call your surgeon.
- Bruising or minor swelling at your incision site.
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
- Less hungry. You may even feel nauseated around food for a couple of weeks. This is normal and common.
- Pain or tightness in your shoulders and upper back.
- Sad, depressed or moody.
These are normal responses to surgery. But that doesnt mean you have to face them alone. Tell your family or friends how youre feeling. If the pain feels severe or medication doesnt help, call your care team.
Cardiac Surgery Survival Rates By Complexity
Some congenital heart defects are more complex than others. And because there are so many types of heart defects, no pediatric heart program will see the exact same defects each year.
The Society of Thoracic Surgeons , the organization with the largest congenital heart surgery database, organizes the types of surgeries into five categories, which are referred to as STAT categories so they are easier to compare.
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Data Analysis And Outcomes
The POCMA analysis was performed by a multidisciplinary and technical group composed of cardiologist, cardiac surgeon, intensive care physician, nurse and a perfusionist from the coordinating center. Using POCMA, the identified seminal event was then categorized according to the phase of the event during peri-operative care . A list of categories and subcategories capable of triggering mortality was developed based on POCMA for each perioperative phase. When multiple contributing factors were found, the first potential event was chosen, representing the best time for systematic correction of the course of mortality. Death of cardiac surgery patients was defined as avoidable if the chance of survival with better care or in the absence of contributing factors was> 50%. When there were no identifiable factors for a sudden death of a patient, it was defined as unavoidable death .
Open Heart Surgery For Elderly Patients
Open heart surgery is a major surgical procedure that is used to treat various heart conditions. The surgery is performed by opening the chest and surgically repairing or replacing the hearts damaged valves or muscles.
Open heart surgery is a serious procedure and it carries a certain amount of risk. However, the risk of death from open heart surgery decreases with age. The average survival rate for open heart surgery is 95%. For patients over the age of 70, the survival rate is 97%. For patients over the age of 80, the survival rate is 98%.
It is important to note that these are average rates and not everyone will experience these results. However, the data does show that the risk of death from open heart surgery decreases with age. This is due, in part, to the fact that older patients are typically healthier than younger patients and are more likely to survive surgery.
If you are considering open heart surgery, it is important to talk to your doctor about your individual risks and benefits. You should also be aware that the survival rates may vary depending on your specific condition and the type of surgery you undergo. However, the data shows that open heart surgery is generally safe for patients over the age of 70.
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Whats The Difference Between Cardiac Surgery Survival And Cardiac Surgery Mortality
Heart surgery programs can report survival, which is the percentage of patients who survived their open heart surgery.
Looking at the data another way, surgery programs can also report mortality . This is the percentage of patients who did not survive their operation.
When comparing cardiac surgery programs or STS data, you might see data reported as survival, mortality, or a mix of both, depending on the program.
Routinely Performed Coronary Artery Bypass Surgeries
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Characteristics Of The Study Population
The mean age of all patients was 74.5 years at the time of surgery . Fifty percent of the patients were between 70 and 75 years, 45% between 75 and 80 years, and 5% between 80 and 93 years of age. Males represented 58.9% of the study population. Overall, 82% had coronary artery bypass grafting only. Only 8.2% had valve surgery and 9.8% had a combined procedure. Regarding urgency of operation, 38.2% were considered elective, 48.1%
How Many Heart Surgeries Take Place Each Year
The number of heart surgeries can vary by year. In 2018, nearly half a million people in the U.S. had heart surgery.
But the COVID-19 pandemic affected how many people are having heart surgery. The monthly average dropped by 50% in April 2020. The number continued to be lower than normal through the rest of 2020. Partly, this is because hospitals needed to postpone non-elective care. But it seems many people also chose to delay care even if they had symptoms.
If youve been putting off your appointments because youre concerned about COVID-19 exposure, youre not alone. But its important that you call your healthcare provider and make an appointment. Ask your provider what their office is doing to help keep you safe. And keep in mind that untreated heart problems can get worse and lead to more serious issues down the road.
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Why Transparency Matters
We believe that families have the right to know every heart surgery programs outcomes. Our Heart Institute is the only pediatric heart surgery program in Colorado and one of the few in our region to publicly report our cardiac surgery outcomes data. This transparency is one of the keys to our success as one of the best hospitals for congenital heart surgery in the country.
When researching heart surgery programs, parents should look for multiple outcome measures, such as total survival, survival by surgical complexity and length of stay, and consider these statistics together. No single metric should stand alone.
View some of the many things we measure and see our latest outcomes data below.
What Happens After Open
Two or three tubes will be in your chest when you wake up after surgery. These are to help drain fluid from the area around your heart. Intravenous lines may be inserted into your arm to deliver fluids, and a catheter may be inserted into your bladder to evacuate urine. Youll also be connected to equipment that tracks your heart rate. Nurses are available to support you if the need arises.Your first night is usually spent in the intensive care unit . For the next three to seven days, you will be relocated to a standard care room.
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What This Site Cannot Do
This site cannot help parents make decisions about their childs treatment. If you are concerned about your childs treatment plan please speak with your childs cardiologist or surgeon. You can also access the support available from national charities such as the Childrens Heart Federation, Little Hearts Matter or local charities for your specialist childrens hospital . These guides on speaking to your childs surgeon or seeking a second opinion, written by the Childrens Heart Federation, might also be helpful.
We know that there is much more to childrens heart surgery than survival to 30 days after surgery, such as much longer term survival and quality of life after surgery. Although this information is not routinely available at the moment, we are actively researching how to collect, interpret and publish this data.
Open Heart Surgery For Young Patients
Open heart surgery is a major surgical procedure that is used to treat a variety of heart conditions. The survival rate for open heart surgery varies depending on a persons age. Infants and young children have the lowest survival rates, while adolescents and young adults have the highest survival rates.
The survival rate for open heart surgery improves with each decade of life. Infants and young children have a survival rate of approximately 60-70%, while adolescents and young adults have a survival rate of approximately 95%.
There are several factors that contribute to the improved survival rates in older patients. Older patients are typically healthier and have fewer medical problems than younger patients. Additionally, older patients are typically more cooperative and better able to follow post-operative instructions.
Despite the improved survival rates in older patients, open heart surgery is still a risky procedure. Patients should discuss the risks and benefits of open heart surgery with their doctor before making a decision about whether or not to proceed with the surgery.
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Youll Play A Key Role In Managing Your Pain
Post-surgical pain is unavoidable but can be managed in a variety of ways. Because of recent national legislation changes, physicians can prescribe no more than a seven-day supply of opioids to patients at the time of their hospital discharge.
Weaning yourself off opioids as soon as possible is important. You may need less than a seven-day supply, depending on your condition. Some patients do not require any opioids for pain management.
Other options for pain management include:
Oral and topical analgesics such as acetaminophen and Salonpas patches
Applying a warm cloth to the area, using caution near the incision because nerve sensitivity may be decreased, causing the skin to burn
Relaxation techniques such as meditation and guided imagery
If you are on long-term opioids, you should meet with your prescribing physician to begin to wean down to the lowest dose possible before surgery.
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Cardiac Resynchronisation Therapy And Cardiac Resynchronisation Therapy Defibrillator Device
If you have heart failure, you may need a special type of device called cardiac resynchronisation therapy device. As well as treating heart arrhythmias, this device also synchronises your hearts chambers to contract and relax in a regular way, which improves the pumping action of your heart.
There is also a type of CRT that can be used as above and in addition can deliver a shock to treat dangerous heart arrhythmias and then synchronise your hearts chambers to normal rhythm once more. This is CRT-D .
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Side Effects Of Surgery
After you have been discharged from hospital, you may experience some side effects as a result of the operation.
These can include:
Follow any advice that you have been given on discharge from hospital.
See a GP if you have:
- worsening pain in or around the wound
- redness and swelling around the wound
- pus or blood coming from the wound
- a very high temperature or you feel hot and shivery
What To Expect While You Recover In The Hospital
There are a full range of cardiac surgery procedures that repair and restore heart function. How long you stay in the hospital depends on the type of surgery you have.
Immediately after surgery, youll receive care in the hospitals intensive care unit . A care team of cardiac ICU specialists, respiratory therapists and nurses monitors you closely.
After two to three days, youll transition to intermediate care. Here youll begin physical and occupational therapy to help you transition to home. Youll learn how to move through daily tasks while protecting your incision and minimizing discomfort as you heal.
For standard open-heart surgery, youll stay in the hospital for five to seven days. You may need more time to recover after more complex surgery. After minimally invasive procedures, youll stay for one to three days.
Many patients continue their recovery at home. If you need additional therapy, your doctor may recommend care at a rehabilitation facility before returning home.
You may experience a variety of symptoms after heart surgery, including chest pain, constipation, muscle pain, loss of appetite, swelling and trouble sleeping. Medications can provide relief, which should improve over time.
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Survival Rate Of Heart Valve Replacement Surgery
The survival rate for a heart valve replacement surgery depends on which valve is involved. This was analyzed in a large study in which the lifespan of a large population, who went ahead with the surgery, is observed for a specific timeframe.
The 5-year survival rate means what percentage of people lived for at least 5 years after the surgery. Similarly, the 10-year survival rate means what percentage of people lived for at least 10 years after the surgery.
For example, the 5-year survival rates for aortic valve replacement surgery is 94%. This means 94 out of 100 people who underwent AVR surgery could live at least 5 years.
Table 1: The Survival Rates as Per the Type of Valve in Heart Valve Replacement Surgeries
Survival rates for heart valve replacement surgery are often used as predictors of how long patients can live beyond a certain number of years after the surgery. However, these may vary for you depending on your age, your overall health, and the current status of your heart function. Discuss with your doctor about these factors to know about your life expectancy after the surgery.
The First Few Weeks At Home
During the first few weeks after hospital discharge, many people who have undergone heart bypass surgery:
- Experience low energy levels and feel fatigued frequently
- Have intermittent post-operative pain
- Need to continue taking pain medication, as ordered by the healthcare provider
- Are not yet able to return to work
- Have strict activity limitations such as a lifting and driving restrictions
- May experience sadness and mood swings
- Commonly have symptoms of major depression
Coping During the First Few Weeks at Home
You should rest often and sleep when you feel tired. Sleep will help your body recover and help to replenish your energy level. If you have trouble getting enough sleep at night, there are some things you can do to help, including:
- Be sure to establish a regular pattern of going to bed and getting up at the same time every day.
- If you have frequent insomnia, you may want to eliminate naps to ensure you are tired at night.
- Take your pain pills before you go to bed
- Be sure to sleep on your back for the first four to six weeks while your breastbone heals.
Coping with Pain
Pain after bypass surgery is common, some things you can do to relieve pain include:
Important Activity Warning
- Lifting objects that weigh over 10 lbs: This includes children, laundry baskets, trash receptacles and other objects.
- Driving: Even a minor car crash could cause the chest area to slam into the steering wheel.
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Heart Surgery In Young Children: Routine Monitoring Of Complications Can Help Assess The Quality Of Care
This is a plain English summary of an original research article
The vast majority of young children undergoing heart surgery survive the procedure the survival rate is 98%. This means that the current practice of monitoring survival alone is a blunt measure that does not give a full picture of childrens recovery. New research suggests that complications may be a better indicator of the quality of surgery and related medical care. Complications that affect the whole child and their quality of life, may be particularly informative.
The researchers worked with families and medical staff to compile a list of the nine most important complications of childrens heart surgery . They also looked at how common each complication was, and the impact it had, to assess how useful the agreed list was.
Parents and clinicians had overlapping but sometimes different views about which complications had the most impact. Clinicians prioritised problems related to the heart while parents were particularly concerned about complications that caused developmental problems. So the researchers developed a test to assess which children might go on to have developmental problems after surgery and need help catching up.
This work helps empower families as it focuses on the complications important to them. Data is now being routinely collected for seven of the nine complications identified in this study.