Bypass Surgery Complications
Heart Bypass Surgery Complications
If you are reading this article you are very possibly on the verge of having, or have already had heart bypass surgery. While not getting into any high technical medical terms, the purpose of this article is to give you a basic understanding of what heart bypass surgery is and the bypass surgery complications that may come with it.
Coronary arteries are small blood vessels that carry oxygen to your heart. At times, one or more of these arteries become partially or totally blocked, preventing your heart from obtaining the needed amount of oxygen carried in your blood. This can cause angina and other heart problems which could be fatal to the individual with the disease. If the veins are still functioning correctly and only blocked partially, your doctor may first try medications and suggest a lifestyle change. If these options have been used, and the symptoms of angina continue and get more frequent and painful, then it may be time to seriously consider bypass surgery.
Heart bypass surgery will create a new route for blood and oxygen to reach your heart, thus the name, bypass surgery. During this type of surgery, your physician will take a vein for another area of your body, usually the saphenous vein in your leg, and sew one end to an incision that will be made in your aorta, and the other end to your coronary artery. This new "healthy" artery will then be used by the body to supply oxygen and other needed nutrients to your heart. Bypass surgery usually takes three to six hours to perform and is of course considered a major operation. Heart surgeons usually perform two to four coronary artery corrections during the operation, depending on the seriousness and location of the blockages. After the operation is finished the patient will spend at least one day in intensive care where their vital signs such as blood pressure and breathing will be monitored continuously. Because of the length and seriousness of the surgery heart bypass complications do occur at times.
All surgery, large or small, carries with it certain risks and complications. Some of the most common heart bypass complications are as follows:
Infections - Despite the use of modern sterile techniques and technology, there is still the occasional problem of minor or major infections. The minor ones could be simple skin infections treatable with antibiotics, while the major ones could be in the chest cavity or breast bone. These are very serious infections that could require a reopening of the wound to clean out the infected area.
Heart Attack - Unfortunately this is one of the heart bypass surgery complications that can occur, though it happens rarely. In one out of approximately every 250-275 operations a heart attack can and does occur. During major operations your heart requires more blood and oxygen to function properly as under any sustained, stressful condition. When an artery is too narrow or blocked it can significantly reduce the required amount needed by the heart muscle. If the flow of blood and oxygen is cut off for too long a period, the heart muscle will die, thus causing a heart attack.
Bleeding - A certain amount of bleeding will not only occur, but is expected to occur after heart bypass surgery. However, if the bleeding is extensive it could require emergency measures to stop the bleeding including an additional operation. Fortunately, this is a very rare occurrence, so the probability of it happening are very small.
Lung Problems - Lung problems such as pneumonia and fluid build up can occur as one of the heart bypass complications. In most cases it is a temporary problem that can be dealt with by changes in your breathing apparatus. However, in rare instances the lung may require an extended use of the breathing tube or even a tracheotomy.
Stroke - Another cardiac bypass surgery complication could be a stroke. This usually happens when a piece of plaque, which is a diseased part of the blood vessel or vein in question, has broken off and traveled through the arteries to the brain. If this causes one of the arteries to the brain to be blocked and cut off from blood and oxygen, a stroke may occur. The aftermaths of a stroke can be very small or it can be a major occurrence including loss of speech, paralysis or even loss of life.
Yes, there are many bypass surgery complications that can occur during or after your cardiac operation. Fortunately, these are rare instances and the large majority of heart bypass surgeries are totally successful. This article was just written to show you the possibilities of these occurrences in order to help you make a more knowledgeable decision as to whether or not to have the procedure. If you read the warning label of any drug, including aspirin, you will find a large list of possible complications. Consider this article your warning label for bypass surgery complications. The possibilities are there, but that doesn't mean they will occur.
Heart bypass surgery is performed daily in thousands of hospitals all over the world, and 85-90% are totally successful, with only a 2% percent average mortality rate according to your age. If your physician is even talking to you about bypass surgery, he probably feels it is the lesser of two evils. If you have been advised that he is well respected and competent in his field of expertise, you may want to listen closely to what he feels your best options are.
Although bypass surgery complications can occur, they can occur in any surgery. This article is only trying to supply you with enough insight into heart bypass complications to help you make a more informed decision concerning any upcoming or past operations.
As far as after your surgery, one very important thing to remember is to follow your bypass surgery diet and all other instructions given to you by your physician upon your return home. By doing this you can greatly reduce any chances of heart bypass surgery complications.
As you probably see, we have a very large collection of articles concerning both heart and gastric bypass surgery complications and are constantly adding more. You may want to bookmark us if you have an interest in the subject.
July 20, 2015 - There are always new developments happening in regard to bypass surgery somewhere in the medical world. We try to stay up to date and do hope you will bookmark us so you can visit us occassionally. One thing you need to remember is that the vast majority of heart problems can be solved with lifestyle changes. It is sad that heart attacks are still our number one killer when many can be prevented with only a little willpower.