What is the most dangerous heart operation

Heart surgery

During a heart operation, a surgery on the heart or large blood vessels, which close to the heartare located. The different procedures fall under the specialty of cardiac surgery.

What is a heart operation?

The heart surgery is one of the most complex medical treatment procedures. She belongs to the specialist department of Cardiac surgery or cardiac surgery. Since 1993 she has been an independently operating area within general surgery. She deals with congenital or acquired heart diseases as well as injuries to the heart or to the vessels close to the heart.

As the most famous and most spectacular heart surgery is the Heart transplantin which a seriously ill heart is replaced by a healthy donor heart. The most frequent interventions are however the laying of Coronary artery bypasses as Operations on the heart valves.

When is a heart operation necessary?

Operations on the heart or in the cardiac region are out of the different reasons required. Because of significant medical advances, the option is numerous To treat or exchange heart parts. While some interventions take place on the open heart, others can be carried out gently, often using an endoscope. Heart surgery may also be necessary to get a terminally ill heart through one Donor heart to exchange.

Types of operations

In the context of a heart operation, a basic distinction is made between two types of intervention: The closed and the open heart surgery.

From one closed heart surgery This is the case when the procedure takes place outside the heart or it is an instrumental intracardiac procedure.

The open heart surgery is usually more complicated because it at the opened, blood-drained heart takes place. With a potassium-rich solution, the cardiac surgeon brings the heart to a standstill and cools it. A heart-lung machine is used to bridge the resulting cardiovascular standstill.

Bypass surgery

The most common heart surgery is the bypass surgery that leads to the Cardiac Surgery Standards belongs. The coronary arteries, also known as the coronary arteries, supply the heart muscle with oxygen. It comes to one Hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis), there is a risk of increasing Narrowing of the affected vesselsresulting in a restriction in blood flow. Because parts of the heart muscle are no longer completely supplied with blood, there is a risk of permanent damage like this coronary artery disease (CHD). In the worst case, the complete occlusion of the coronary arteries leads to a life-threatening heart attack. If conservative therapeutic measures are unsuccessful, a bypass must be placed.

On Height of the sternum the surgeon takes one 15 centimeter long skin incision in front. He then cuts the middle of the breastbone and immobilizes the heart. By a Life-support-machine the cycle is maintained during this period. To create a bypass circuit, the doctor uses a section of vein taken from the leg or forearm. With this approach, the Restore blood supply to the heart. So that the wound secretion can drain away, the cardiac surgeon attaches a drain and sutures the sternum again at the end of the operation.

Heart valve surgery

The human heart valves are located between the atria and the heart chambers as well as in the main artery (aorta) and the lungs. If they have functional impairments (e.g. in the case of mitral valve insufficiency), there is a risk of blood congestion, which leads to further damage to the heart. With a heart valve operation there is the possibility of the repair or completely replace defective heart valves. The surgeon usually only determines during the operation whether an exchange needs to be carried out. The new heart valve can be biological or artificial. Which is ultimately used depends on the type of heart valve disease, any concomitant diseases and the age of the patient.

Inserting a pacemaker

The heart is equipped with independent signal transmitters that control its beat rhythm. Due to infections or other diseases, these special cells are threatened with disorders. If the body's own beat rhythm does not occur or if it is delayed, a pacemaker is surgically used. The pacemaker works for a few years until the batteries it contains are exhausted.

The pacemaker operation is one of the Standard methods of cardiac surgery and can also outpatient make. Through a endoscopic procedure a probe is inserted into the heart chamber, where it measures the heart rate. The pacemaker is usually located under the collarbone. From there it processes the probe signals and issues its own electronic impulses to synchronize the heartbeat from.

Further procedures

To the further heart operations counting:

  • the use of a defibrillator after a heart attack or dangerous cardiac arrhythmias
  • the resynchronization of heart failure in the event of heart failure
  • the therapy of atrial fibrillation using ultrasound, microwaves, cold or radio frequencies
  • endoscopic heart operations that are minimally invasive
  • the insertion of a stent to clear vasoconstriction
  • the closure of a congenital atrial septal defect (hole in the heart)
  • the heart transplant

Complications and Risks

Both during and after a heart operation various complications occur that are also possible with other interventions. These are mostly:

  • Bleeding from broken blood vessels
  • Nerve injuries
  • Infections
  • Wound healing disorders

To the dreaded risks counts the Sternal osteomyelitis of the sternum. They put the area behind the breastbone and both lungs at risk of inflammation. Because of the closeness to the heart, this applies Mediastinitis always as life threatening. Furthermore are Thrombosis and embolism possible.

Rehabilitation after heart surgery

After an operation on the heart, one usually takes placecardiac rehabilitation instead, which takes place in a corresponding rehab clinic. The duration is an average of three weeks, but can take longer if medically necessary. The follow-up rehabilitation is considered to be the follow-up treatment of hospital therapy. The patient is transferred directly from the clinic to the rehab facility or travels from home after being discharged from the hospital. The The recommended time between hospital and rehab treatment is 14 days.

To the Aims of cardiac rehab part of bringing the patient back to everyday stress. He is taught forms of behavior with which he counteracts certain risk factors. This in turn leads to an improvement in the long-term prognosis.


Numerous heart diseases can be successfully treated with heart surgery. The subsequent rehabilitation also contributes to the success of the therapy.

Last changed on: 05/18/2020

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