Open-Heart Surgery: What it Treats and Procedure

People with heart problems sometimes receive a prescription for open-heart surgery. This is a major surgery usually recommended for individuals with artery blockages. In addition, the surgery can also be prescribed for various reasons. To learn about the reasons for and procedure of open heart surgery, including cost, this article has been prepared. 

The insights from top-notch surgeons have been added to make the article a valuable guide. These professionals include experts in open heart surgery in Delhi, Mumbai, and many more places. Based on the insights, this article will share helpful information about open heart surgery. Hence, go through the article and read it carefully.

What is Open Heart Surgery?

Bypass Surgery and Coronary Artery Disease Surgery (CAD) is a surgical procedure. A heart surgeon typically performs CAD surgery. This method treats coronary artery disease (CAD). CAD occurs when fatty plaque causes the blood and oxygen-supplying arteries to stiffen and constrict. This plaque impedes the arteries’ ability to circulate blood. A heart attack is the result of blood not getting to the heart in the right way.

Open heart surgery performed by a heart surgeon also treats the below-mentioned conditions-

  • Replace or repair heart valves to allow blood to pass through the heart.
  • Mend any damaged or abnormal regions of the heart.
  • Install implants that support a regular heartbeat.
  • Swap out a broken heart. 

Signs & Symptoms for Open Heart Surgery

  • Chest pain 
  • High body temperature.
  • Vomiting as well as nausea.
  • Breathlessness.
  • Symptoms like leaking and redness at the surgery site that indicate an infection.
  • Slurred speech or additional stroke symptoms.

Types of Open Heart Surgery

There are two methods for doing open cardiac surgery:

  • On-pump: The heart and lungs are momentarily replaced by a heart-lung bypass machine connected to the heart. It transfers blood away from the heart and throughout the body. Next, the heart that isn’t beating or pumping blood is operated on by the surgeon. Following surgery, the heart begins to beat again when the physician disconnects the device.
  • Off-pump: An elective heart transplant is performed on a heart that is still beating naturally. This method is limited to coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) procedures, also known as bypass surgeries. A surgeon may refer to this procedure as “beating heart surgery.”

Diagnostic Procedures for Open Cardiac Surgery?

Prior to open cardiac surgery, you should anticipate having:

  • An electrocardiogram (EKG), chest X-rays, or other tests to aid in the surgeon’s planning of the surgery.
  • You shaved your chest.
  • The surgical site is sterilized with antimicrobial (bacteria-killing) soap.
  • An intravenous line (IV) to administer drugs and fluids in your arm.

The Procedure of Open Heart Surgery

As per the National Institutes of Health reports, a CABG takes three to six hours. Usually, it is completed by following these simple steps:

  • General anaesthesia is provided to the patient. This guarantees that they will be pain-free and sleepy during the entire procedure.
  • The surgeon places an 8 to 10-inch incision in the chest.
  • To expose the patient’s heart, the surgeon makes a full or partial incision through the breastbone.
  • Once the heart is seen, the patient may be connected to a heart-lung bypass machine. In order to allow the surgeon to operate, the device drains blood from the heart. 
  • The surgeon creates a new route around the clogged artery using a healthy vein or artery.
  • The wire remains within the body when the surgeon uses it to seal the breastbone.
  • The initial incision is sewn closed.

In certain high-risk cases, such as those involving several surgeries or elderly patients, sternal plating may be performed. After surgery, the breastbone is reunited using tiny titanium plates, a procedure known as sternal plating. 

Popular Open Heart Surgery

There are several open-heart surgery options depending on the type of cardiac illness. Typical ones are as follows:

  • Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting: The most popular kind of heart surgery, coronary artery bypass grafting, is done to give the heart other blood supply pathways. Usually, the arms, legs, or chest are used to remove the healthy artery.
  • Heart Valve Repair or Replacement: Depending on the procedure’s outcome, the heart valve will either be repaired or replaced with a metallic or biological valve.
  • Heart Transplant: The procedure replaces the damaged heart with a healthy heart from a deceased donor to treat advanced heart failure.

Preparation for Open Heart Surgery

Talking to a skilled cardiac surgeon about your concerns and scheduling the procedure should come first. However, this approach may not be feasible if emergency cardiac surgery is required. For instance, to save a patient’s life, surgeons will promptly conduct heart bypass surgery if it is determined that the patient is experiencing heart attack symptoms as a result of clogged coronary arteries.

To optimize the outcome of their open-heart surgery, patients must adhere to specific recommendations, such as maintaining a healthy diet, stopping smoking, and engaging in regular exercise. Before open heart surgery, the patient will have various laboratory tests scheduled by the heart surgeon to assess the condition of their heart, such as blood tests, chest X-rays, and electrocardiograms (EMGs).

What are the Risks of Open-heart Surgery?

Open heart surgery poses several risks, like any other surgical procedure: arrhythmia, stroke, injury to neighbouring organs or blood vessels, haemorrhaging from the sutured area, and infections surrounding the sutures. Patients with underlying medical disorders such as diabetes, obesity, and chronic lung disease (COPD) are more likely to experience these consequences. Furthermore, there is a greater chance of pre-operative and post-operative problems for those who chain smoke.

To lower the chance of infection, the patient’s skin is also sterilized right before the procedure. General anaesthesia is used for the procedure, and the patient spends one or two days in the intensive care unit (ICU) before moving to the nursing ward. 


Open heart surgery is a major heart surgery. The treatment usually performed by a cardiac or heart surgeon addresses the blockage of arteries. The surgery can also be prescribed for heart valve repair, replacement, heart transplant and many more. Coronary Artery Bypass surgery can be identified through chest, high fever, heart stroke and heavy breathing. Consultation with a heart specialist is preferred to confirm the condition and get treatment. To find a top heart surgeon in Delhi one can visit Delhi. The city has several skilled heart specialists, Dr. Sujay Shad is one of them. The doctor is highly experienced and practising at Sir Ganga Ram  Hospital. The doctor offers bypass surgery for a successful heart transplant. To get more detail about the doctor or treatments book an appointment with the doctor today.