Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery = Less Pain + Fast Recovery
The heart is a wonderful organ but it can be vulnerable to damage due to:
a) the sheer number of life-saving activities it busily undertakes to do, 24/7 for a lifetime
b) the harm it gets subjected to when the owner of the heart indulges in health-damaging habits such as smoking, non-nutritious diet, lives a life of stress.
c) For some, an unhealthy heart is a condition with which they were unfortunately born.
Cardiovascular disease is the umbrella term we give to any heart disease or a related heart condition. The bad news is that many more people worldwide and in India – particularly young people – are affected with heart-health issues; the good news is that the evolution in medical science is ensuring more cardiac disease are speedily and satisfactorily curable, thanks to the new treatment methods and surgeries.
Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery (also called Keyhole Surgery) is one such beneficial technique in treating heart diseases. This surgery is performed through making small keyhole-sized incisions in the body (instead of the larger incisions in conventional surgery). These tiny keyhole incisions are often made using specialized surgical instruments. The incision for minimally invasive heart surgery is approximately about two to three inches instead of the six to eight inch-incisions needed for conventional surgery. Recovery time in such surgeries is much quicker than in conventional surgery.
- Minimally Invasive Valve Surgery: Valve surgeries (valve repairs and valve replacements in the heart) are the most frequently used minimally invasive surgery.
- Minimally Invasive CABG Surgery: Minimally invasive direct Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (MIDCABG) surgery can be used for patients needing a left internal mammary artery bypass graft to the left anterior descending artery.
- Beating Heart Bypass Surgery: Heart surgery performed while the heart is still beating.
After heart surgery:
After heart surgery, patients must make necessary lifestyle changes and take medications as the surgeon has prescribed. This is most essential to maintain cardiovascular health after surgery because the surgery is not the end of the process to heal the heart. Proper post-surgical care and maintenance of the heart are needed.
Lifestyle changes needed for a healthy heart include:
- No Smoking. Quit tobacco in all forms.
- Do not drink a drop of alcohol; much less risk for the heart
- Keep cholesterol levels in check
- Watch out for high blood pressure, particularly for patients with diabetes
- Regular exercise
- Watch the bodyweight
- Eat healthy food (more fresh vegetables, and fruits)
- Get involved in a cardiac rehabilitation program. Gain the strength of a group.
- Maintain regular visits to the doctor. Report abnormalities in physical condition.
Important Note: Not all heart patients need minimally invasive surgery. The surgeon will consider the results of the diagnostic tests and decide if this surgery is needed. The surgical team will carefully compare the advantages and disadvantages of traditional surgery versus minimally invasive surgery and take a decision accordingly.