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Open Heart Surgery

Preparing for Open Heart Surgery

Open heart surgery is performed in the hospital, and the average hospital stay is four to seven days. However, it is possible that you could stay longer.
 
Depending on your situation, you may undergo other tests prior to your open heart surgery. Your healthcare provider will explain the specific purpose of each test.
 
You will also be given specific instructions as to where and when to arrive at the medical facility, how to prepare for your open heart surgery, and what to expect the day of and the days following your surgery.
 
(Click Preparing for Open Heart Surgery for more information.)
 

The Surgery Itself

During open heart surgery, each of your blocked coronary arteries will be carefully inspected. Your surgeon will determine the ideal place to attach the new vessel or vessels. Usually the vessel is sewn into an area below the blockage, and then into a location in the aorta.
 
(Click Bypass Surgery for more information.)
 

Complications of Open Heart Surgery

No procedure is ever completely free of risks. However, open heart surgery has been performed for many years with successful results and limited complications.
 
Open heart surgery complications include, but are not limited to:
 
On average, the mortality rate of open heart surgery is 3 out of 100 procedures.
 
It may be that in your doctor's practice, few of these open heart surgery complications have happened. However, because of your individual situation, your risk for major complications may be higher or lower; therefore, it is important that you discuss your risk with your doctor. It is important for you to know and understand the potential complications, so that you are fully informed before your open heart surgery.
 
(Click Open Heart Surgery Complications for more information.)
 
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