The heart is one of two most critically important organs in the human body. Also many Americans have heart conditions that require heart surgery because they have a serious heart condition. I think that bypass heart surgery and heart transplant and are the top two most important surgeries that will help save people whose lives are affected by a serious heart condition. You are in the middle of the forest and all of the sudden you have a sharp pain in the left part of your chest. You start dry heaving and throw up.
You collapse while one of your friends is on the phone with an emergency responder. Life Support comes with a helicopter to rush you to the hospital and the doctors start to perform tests on you to see what is the matter. The doctor finds that the artery that leads right to your heart is clogged with plaque. Your heart can’t receive the blood it needs and it is starting to die. The doctor decides to do an emergency heart bypass. First the doctor has to wash and shave the skin area where he will make an incision in your chest to make an opening where your heart is.
Before the surgery, he will perform an EKG (electrocardiogram) to check your heart function. During that a nurse will give you an IV (intravenous line) and anesthesia to make sure you are asleep and you aren’t in a ton of pain. A respirator will be put in your mouth down into the windpipe to help you breathe. Another tube will be put into your nose, down into your stomach to help prevent fluids and air to develop over time in your stomach. A catheter will be placed into your bladder to collect urine, while the patient is under.
When that is over they put a blood thinner in the IV to prevent blood clots. After the prep has been done, they will run the patient to the emergency room to start the surgery. The nurses will hook the patient to a heart-lung machine to help the doctor operate without your heart beating. The heart-lung machine replaces the role of the heart and pumps blood, that is rich with oxygen, into the Aorta so that the blood is easily distributed throughout the body. The heart will be stopped and kept cool if the heart-lung machine is used.
If the heart-lung machine isn’t used in the bypass surgery, then the surgeon will keep the heart pumping. This surgery is called off-pump bypass surgery. When the chest is fully open and the heart is exposed, the doctor will remove a piece of vein somewhere in the body usually in the leg, sometimes in the chest. The piece of vein is called a graft and it will be used to tunnel the flow past the blockage. The graft is connected to the aorta and the other end is joined onto the other side of the blockage. The graft allows blood to flow over the blockage and to the heart safely.
After the doctor is done stitching up the patient then they clean up and place bandages on the wound. This surgery will take two to six hours to perform depending on the severity. When you wake up you find you are super sore. The doctor is standing there and he says you had a heart attack and need a heart bypass. He tells you that you need to stay in the hospital for a week to recover under intensive care. After a week he checks in with you and tell you that recovery time is four to six weeks. He says you need to make a few adjustments for a healthier lifestyle to prevent another blockage.
A heart transplant is a surgery that removes a heart from an organ donor and places the heart into living person that has a dying heart or has a serious heart condition. Before you can receive a heart, a cardiologist (a heart doctor) has to decide if you are eligible for a heart. The doctor also makes sure you are healthy enough for surgery. The only reason a person would need a heart transplant is if the heart couldn’t be treated. For example, endstage heart failure is a disease that the heart muscle has started to fail to pump blood through the heart and into the body.
The final stage of the disease is ultimate heart failure and may end is a heart transplant. Before surgery the patient will be asked to remove any jewelry and clothing. The patient will be given a gown to wear during the surgery. On the operating table, the patient will be asked to lay on their back. The patient will be given an IV with fluids, catheters, and a tube that will be put down your nose to drain stomach fluids. Hair on the patient’s chest will be shaved off. While the patient is under with anesthesia a tube will be put into outh down into the lungs to help them breathe.
The skin over the chest will be cleaned and the doctor will make an incision down the center of the chest. The sternum will be cut in half, then it will be separated to be able to reach the heart. Two tubes that are connected to a heart- lung machine will be inserted into the chest to keep blood flowing through the body. While the machine is pumping the blood, the heart will be cut out and removed. The donor’s heart will be put into place and sewn so it doesn’t move. After the heart is in it’s place blood vessels will be sewn and connected to the heart.
When the process is over, blood will be allowed to flow back into into the heart and the tubes of the machine will be removed. Them doctor will shock the heart with small paddles to restart the heart. Once the heart is beating then the staff of surgeons will analyze the heart to see if it is working properly. The sternum is replaced back and sewn back together. Then the skin will be sewn back together and the incision is closed with staples. Tubes will be inserted around the heart so that any fluid that gathers around the heart will be drained.
In the end a bandage will be put into place to help stop the bleeding. After the surgery and everything is removed, the patient will be taken to the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) to be watched closely for a considerable amount of days. The nurses will monitor pressure readings, breathing rate, and oxygen level. However, the patient will have to stay in the hospital for seven to fourteen days. The breathing machine will still be connected to the patient to help regulate how you breathe and over a certain amount of time the breathing machine will be lessened to help the patient become used to breathing again.
Once the patient is able to breathe on their own or cough the tube will be removed. A nurse will help the patient cough or breathe every two hours. After the patient is released from the hospital the doctor will prescribe them antirejection medicine (immunosuppression). The doctors will keep a close eye on the patient just incase the body rejects the heart. In theory bypass heart surgery and heart transplants are very laborious and major surgeries. It also takes many steps and professionals are only certified to perform this surgery. The patient must go through many months of laborious therapy.