In US alone, around half a million people undergo heart surgery every year. The complications that could occur during or after the cardiac operations could range from minor to major. This write-up provides detailed information on the complications associated with heart surgery.
As the number of people affected by coronary problems is significantly high, the rate of heart-related surgeries performed per year is also high. Cardiac surgery is an umbrella term that encompasses several types of procedures that are conducted by a cardiac surgeon. Surgeries are performed to repair or replace valves, widen or bypass affected arteries, implant devices to control heartbeat, and transplant the heart.
In general, a cardiac operation is performed as the last resort for treating a cardiovascular or coronary disease, i.e., it is performed when drugs and medicines fail to show positive responses or in case of emergency. Similar to other operations, this is also associated with certain risks and perplexities. Hence, prior to performing the procedure, the person’s general health is examined properly with an aim to reduce postoperative problems. Also, it is ensured that the person is aware of the postoperative recovery procedures and risks, while signing the approval forms for the operation.
The conventional cardiac operation is called open heart surgery. In this procedure, the chest is opened and the coronary irregularities are corrected. During the process, a cardiac-lung bypass machine is used to take over the function of the lungs and heart. With the advancements in medical field, minimally invasive cardiac operations have been developed. Such methods pose lesser risks than open heart surgery, thus reducing the recovery time as well. Mentioned below are some common problems manifested during and after the cardiac operation:
Bleeding during the operation is a normal condition for all types of surgeries, pertaining to the coronary and major blood vessels. In some cases, excessive bleeding occurs even after the operation, which needs to be addressed at the earliest. In case of any damaged blood vessels, timely diagnosis is imperative to repair them.
Cardiac attack during the operation is one of the major risks, especially during the bypass procedures. This occurs when the person is extremely stressed due to the operation. Needless to say, cardiac attack perplexity is likely to manifest in people who have high pressure, blocked blood vessels, and disorders in cardiac muscles.
According to medical data, approximately 2-3 percent of the people who undergo the cardiac operation, are affected by a stroke. The blood clots restrict the blood and oxygen supply to the brain, resulting in impairment of the brain function. The probable outcomes of the stroke are speaking problem, paralysis, and at times, death.
Also referred to as cardiac tamponade, it is a life-threatening problem that occurs rarely. In this condition, the blood and body fluid accumulate in the pericardium of the cardiac. The fluid fills up the membrane lining, thereby preventing the ventricles from expanding fully.
The functioning of lungs and heart is related indirectly. In an open heart surgery, the person may face lung problems after the operation, some of which include fluid accumulation in the chest area, respiratory tract infections, bleeding, and in severe cases, lung failure.
Cardiac operations may result in temporary problems like nausea, vomiting, bruising, inflammation, scar formation, skin numbness, skin allergic reactions, and irregular pulse rate. These conditions are not very complex and can be treated promptly with self-care tips and the use of over-the-counter medications.
On the concluding note, the probable complications of cardiac operations depend on various aspects, such as overall health of the recipient, type of operation, expertise of the cardiac surgeon, and medical equipment used for the procedure. Also, the risks are higher for patients with serious problems. For example, in most cases, the risks in coronary transplant operations have been more, as compared to the risks in coronary valve operations. Nevertheless, the thumb rule to achieve positive results and reduce the cardiac surgery complications is ensuring that the surgery is performed by a qualified surgeon. It is equally essential to follow the steps recommended for postoperative care.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.