Cardiovascular surgery, also known as cardiothoracic surgery, is a medical speciality that focuses on the surgical treatment of diseases and conditions related to the heart, lungs and blood vessels. It includes a range of procedures performed to treat various conditions such as coronary artery disease, heart failure, valvular disease, congenital heart defects and aortic aneurysms. In this article, we will discuss in detail the treatments available in cardiovascular surgery.
1. Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG)
Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is a surgical procedure used to treat blockages in the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle. It involves creating a new pathway for blood to flow to the heart using a healthy blood vessel from another part of the body, such as the chest or leg. The healthy blood vessel is then connected to the coronary artery beyond the blockage, allowing blood to bypass the blocked area and reach the heart muscle.
CABG is usually recommended for people who have severe blockages in more than one coronary artery or who do not respond well to other treatments such as medication or lifestyle changes.
2. Valve Repair or Replacement
Valve repair or replacement is a surgical procedure used to treat damaged or diseased heart valves. The heart has four valves that regulate blood flow through the heart chambers. Over time, these valves can become damaged for various reasons, such as infections, congenital defects or ageing. This can lead to symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue and chest pain.
In valve repair, the surgeon tries to fix the damaged valve by trimming, reshaping or patching it. If the valve is severely damaged, it may need to be replaced. In this procedure, the surgeon removes the damaged valve and replaces it with an artificial valve made of metal or biological material.
3. Aortic Aneurysm Repair
An aortic aneurysm is a bulge in the aorta, the main artery that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body. If left untreated, the aneurysm can grow and rupture, which can be life-threatening. Aortic aneurysm repair is a surgical procedure used to treat this condition.
There are two main types of aortic aneurysm repair: open surgery and endovascular surgery. Open surgery involves making a large incision in the chest or abdomen to access the aorta and repair the aneurysm. Endovascular surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that involves inserting a catheter into the artery through a small incision and using a stent graft to strengthen the weakened section of the aorta.
4. Heart Transplant
Heart transplantation is a surgical procedure used to treat end-stage heart failure, when the heart can no longer pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. It involves removing the diseased heart and replacing it with a healthy heart from a donor.
Heart transplantation is a complex procedure that requires a team of highly skilled surgeons, anaesthetists and other healthcare professionals. It is usually reserved for people who have not responded to other treatments such as medication, lifestyle changes or other surgical interventions.
5. Lung Transplantation
Lung transplantation is a surgical procedure used to treat end-stage lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis or pulmonary fibrosis. It involves removing the diseased lung and replacing it with a healthy lung from a donor.
Lung transplantation is a complex procedure that requires a team of highly skilled surgeons, anaesthetists and other healthcare professionals. It is usually reserved for people who have not responded to other treatments such as medication, lifestyle changes or other surgical interventions
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