What is beating-heart bypass surgery?

January 24th, 2009 - 7:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Jan 24 (IANS) The beating-heart bypass surgery that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh underwent here Saturday is considered the safest for elderly patients who have had a bypass surgery earlier and also have other ailments, say cardiologists. In an open-chest, beating-heart bypass procedure, surgeons make an incision through the breastbone to access the heart, which is not stopped during the surgery.

The doctor does not use a heart-lung machine to stop the heart as done in the conventional bypass surgery.

Also known as the ‘off-pump’ approach, it uses special devices to stabilise the part of the heart the surgeon is operating on.

According to cardiologists, surgeons weigh several factors, such as the location of blocked arteries, the patient’s history of past thoracic surgeries and the presence of other ailments before deciding on this surgery.

“The heart continues to beat and circulate blood to heart muscles during the operation. A surgery on a beating heart helps reduce the risk for complications in temporarily stopping the heart during the procedure,” said Ashok Seth, senior cardiologist at the Delhi-bvased Max Heart and Vascular Institute.

Cardiologist K.K. Aggarwal added: “Blood usage is brought down to near zero and there is no damage to the brain, heart or lungs as would happen in the conventional surgery. The recovery from this surgery is very quick.”

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