Heart Surgery


Coronary Angioplasty

When coronary arteries become narrowed so that insufficient oxygen rich blood can get to the heart muscle, the insertion of a stent or stents may be the cure.

A stent is a small meshed metal tube that is inserted permanently into a coronary artery. The stent helps hold open the artery so that blood can better flow through it.

Go to the Mayo Clinic website to read about Coronary angioplasty and stenting. Watch a short video on the procedure.


Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery

When the site of a coronary artery blockage cannot be reached with a stent then bypass surgery may be the right option.


Go to the Mayo Clinic website to read about Coronary artery bypass. Go to the heading "How is it done?" and click on the illustration to see how a bypass is done.






Any change in the normal rhythm of the heart is called Arrhythmia. Most arrhythmias result from problems in the electrical system of the heart. Arrythmias are usually treated with medication. When treatment does not work for the kind of arrythmias that slow the heart down, a pacemaker may be neccessary.

The pacemaker is an electronic device that is surgically placed in the body to regulate the heartbeats. A pacemaker delivers extra electical impulses to the heart to make it beat faster.

The pacemaker has two parts: A pulse generator and insulated leads. (Some pacemakers have 1 lead, others have 2 leads)

The pulse generator is a small metal box that contains a very small electronic chip and a battery. The battery provides the power and the chip acts like a computer program. The electronic chip in the pulse generator senses the heart's beat and then sends out electric signals accordingly, in order to regulate heartbeats and maintain a normal rate.

The pacemaker leads are inserted into a vein below the collar bone and passed along this vein into the heart. The leads are then attached to the inside of the heart wall.

The leads are tested and connected to the pacemaker. The pacemaker is then implanted under the skin below the left or right shoulder. This procedure takes about an hour.

The pacemaker is now tested and adjusted to suit your needs.

Most pacemaker batteries last between 5 and 10 years. The battery level will be checked at each pacemaker clinic. Replacing the battery requires a local anesthetic and is a short procedure.


Interactive lessons

At Medline Plus you will find interactive lessons on health issues and surgical procedures, including the following topics of interest to cardiac patients.

* Atrial Fibrillation

* Exercising for a Healthy Heart

* Managing Cholesterol

* Open Heart Surgery - What to Expect?

* Heart Valve Replacement

* Coronary Angiogram and Angioplasty

* Angina

* Congestive Heart Failure

* Pacemakers



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