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Why Open Heart Surgery Is Needed, It’s Types & Procedure

The heart is one of the essential body organs for living a healthy and happy life. However, many individuals with time face heart pain and blockage of the arteries. To keep the heart healthy, a balanced lifestyle and following the doctor’s advice is essential. But, in some cases, heart surgeons have to prescribe open heart surgery. What is open heart surgery, and why is it needed? To find the answers to these questions, this blog is drafted. This post is based on insights taken from the best cardiac surgeon in Delhi. So, you are advised to go through this post carefully.

What is Open Heart Surgery?

Open heart surgery, also known as Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery, is a medical procedure in which the heart is accessed through a chest wall incision. It is frequently used to treat a variety of heart problems that cannot be properly managed with medications or less invasive methods. During open heart surgery, the patient is usually put under general anaesthesia, and the heart may be momentarily halted or kept beating with the help of a heart-lung bypass system.

Need of an Open Heart surgery

Open-heart surgery is a major heart surgery. It is usually performed to repair any fault in the heart. Various reasons can cause damage to the heart fault. But the most common reasons are given below:

  • Hardening or Blockage Of Arteries And Veins

Open heart surgery becomes essential when the coronary arteries or veins get blocked. Thickened walls of arteries and veins caused by cholesterol lead to heart attack. In such cases, open heart surgery plays a vital role. During CABG, healthy blood vessels, typically taken from other body parts, such as the chest or leg, are used to bypass the blocked coronary arteries.

  • Repair or Replacement of Damaged Heart Valve

Failure of heart valves is one of the common heart problems. If any heart valve (mitral, Pulmonary, Tricuspid or Aortic valve) gets damaged or stops functioning, open heart surgery becomes needed. The cardiac surgeon excesses the beating heart through the chest and performs the heart valve repair or replacement. 

  • Aortic Treatment

The aorta is the body’s primary blood vessel. It supplies blood from the heart to the entire body, including the heart, brain, upper torso, chest, abdominal organs and more. This may cause aneurysms or a small, undetectable bulge in the blood vessel. Aneurysms can then cause symptoms similar to aortic valve leakage, such as shortness of breath and palpitations. They can also induce pressure sensations such as discomfort or soreness in the upper back, difficulty breathing due to windpipe pressure, and, in certain cases, hoarseness of voice caused by a stretch of the nerves controlling the vocal cords. Open heart surgery is needed for aneurysms. 

  • Repair of Congenital Heart Defect

Some heart diseases are by birth. Many individuals have structural deformities like Ventricular Septal Defects (holes in the heart). Open heart surgery addresses such issues effectively and treats them. 

  • Heart Failure

Heart failure is another reason for open heart surgery. Whenever the heart fails to function, a heart transplant is a way to replace the non-functioning heart with a healthier one. For heart transplants, open surgery will be performed by the heart surgeon. 

Types of Open Heart Surgery

The following are the types of open-heart surgeries:

  1. On-pump: During a heart-lung bypass treatment, a machine temporarily substitutes the heart and lungs. It takes blood away from the heart and circulates it throughout the body. The surgeon works on a non-beating, non-blood-flowing heart. After surgery, the surgeon removes the device, and the heart resumes normal function.
  2. Off-pump- Off-pump open heart surgery improves coronary blood flow. To restore normal heart blood flow, the surgeon eliminates one artery or vein and uses a different route around the blocked artery.

Diagnose for Open Heart Surgery/ CABG

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) 
  • Stress test 
  • Cardiac catheterization/angiogram 

The Procedure of Open Heart Surgery

  • Initially, anaesthesia will be administered.
  • A gentle cut in the chest between 8 and 10 inches will be placed.
  • When the heart is visible, a heart-lung bypass machine will be used. It will help to transport blood away from the heart during the procedure.
  • After that, the fractured vein will be repaired with a healthy vein, most commonly the saphenous vein from the leg.
  • As the operation is completed, the surgeon will sew the incisions.


Open heart surgery, also known as bypass surgery, is an important heart surgery. It addresses the blocked artery or blood vessels of the heart and replaces it with a healthier one. In addition, the surgery plays a crucial role in heart valve repair/ replacement, heart transplant and the treatment of congenital heart defects. Open heart surgery performed by a skilled and experienced heart surgeon is completely safe. However, post-operative care and a healthy lifestyle are essential. To find an expert for open heart surgery in Delhi, you can meet Dr. Sujay Shad at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.