Open Heart Surgery
The goal of open heart surgery is to take a blood vessel from somewhere else in your body and use it to bypass a vessel in your heart that has become damaged and blocked. During this surgery, each of your blocked coronary arteries will be carefully inspected, and your surgeon will determine the ideal place to attach the new vessel or vessels. In most cases, the vessel will be sewn into an area below the blockage, and then into a location in the aorta. Open heart surgery is performed in the hospital, and the average hospital stay is four to seven days.
Open heart surgery is a surgery that takes a blood vessel from somewhere else in the body and uses it to bypass a vessel in the heart that has become damaged and blocked. This improves the blood supply to the heart and thus improves the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscle.
In most cases, this improvement in blood supply will help relieve many symptoms that you may be currently experiencing, including chest pain, pressure, or tightness.
Other names for open heart surgery include:
- Coronary artery bypass graft surgery
- Bypass surgery
- Heart bypass surgery
- Cardiac bypass surgery.
The heart is a hollow muscular organ about the size of a fist. The heart's primary job is to pump blood throughout the body.
Because the heart is a muscle, it needs blood to function properly, which it gets from the coronary arteries. These arteries wrap around the outside of the heart, supplying oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the heart muscle.
The inside of a normal heart is divided into four chambers:
- Right atrium
- Left atrium
- Right ventricle
- Left ventricle.
Blood, in need of oxygen, flows in from the body and enters the right atrium. From the right atrium, blood is squeezed into the right ventricle through one of the heart's valves.
Heart valves keep blood flowing in a one-way direction by opening to let the proper amount of blood flow through and then closing to prevent backflow.
From the right ventricle, blood is pumped through another valve and then into the lungs, where it receives oxygen. Flowing back to the heart into the left atrium, the blood is then squeezed into the left ventricle through the mitral valve. From there, the oxygen-rich blood is pumped through the aortic valve and into the aorta, where it flows to the rest of the body.