Alternatives to Heart Bypass Surgery – Yashoda Hospital
Heart Bypass surgery or Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) is done to improve the flow of blood to the heart. In this, a blood vessel is taken from another area of the body and used as a bypass to the damaged artery. CABG surgery is generally performed when the coronary artery gets blocked or damaged and restricts the flow of oxygenated blood to the heart. As a result, the heart does not work properly which results in heart failure.
Types of Heart Bypass Surgeries
Depending on the number of blocked arteries, the surgeon will recommend one of the following types of bypass surgery:
If only one artery is blocked, a single bypass is performed.
If two arteries are blocked, a double bypass is performed.
If three arteries are blocked, a triple bypass is done.
Quadruple Bypass is performed when four arteries are blocked.
The higher the number of blocked arteries, the more complex the surgery becomes and increases the chances of getting a heart attack, heart failure, or other cardiac complications.
Why is Heart Bypass Surgery Performed?
People suffering from coronary artery disease (CAD), also known as Atherosclerosis are more likely to get heart bypass surgery done. In this condition, the fat and cholesterol or plaque get deposited on the arterial walls, making the artery thick or causing blockage due to which less blood flows to the heart. This causes the heart to become exhausted or fail.
Doctors may recommend heart bypass surgery only in severe cases like when the condition cannot be managed with the help of medications or other treatments or if the arteries become so narrow or blocked that the chances of getting a heart attack increase.
Read Also: Beating Heart Bypass Surgery
Who Can Undergo Heart Bypass Surgery?
After studying the symptoms and diagnosis, doctors will identify whether someone is ready for surgery. As some medical conditions might complicate the procedure, a critical study of the medical history of the patient is done.
If the person is suffering from or has diabetes, emphysema, kidney disease, or peripheral arterial disease, then performing surgery can be risky as it may cause severe complications. Therefore, one should discuss beforehand and thoroughly about these issues with a doctor, before scheduling surgery.
Potential Risks of Heart Bypass Surgery
Being an open-heart surgery, heart bypass surgery carries several potential risks. Though advancement in technology have raised the probability of a successful surgery, some of the complications that can still occur after surgery are as follows:
- Excessive bleeding
- Blood clots
- Arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat
- Chest pain
- Kidney failure
- Heart attack or stroke
Alternatives to Heart Bypass Surgery
Looking at the number of complications that might occur during or after surgery, doctors often avoid heart bypass surgery. However, these days more alternatives to heart bypass surgery with fewer risks and complications have become available. These include:
Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI):
It is a non-surgical procedure used to treat various heart diseases and improve the blood flow to the heart. Also known as Coronary Angioplasty, it involves the use of a small catheter tube, inserted through the wrist or groin and a dye which is injected to identify the narrowed or blocked arteries. Then small balloons are used to open up the blocked spots and a small mesh tube called a stent is used to provide additional support and help in keeping the artery open.
It is much safer and effective, with reduced complication risks as compared to heart bypass surgery and does away with the need for any repeated procedure.
This surgery is generally recommended for patients suffering from chest pain and shortness of breath and not recommended for asymptomatic patients.
Enhanced External Counter Pulsation (EECP):
An alternative to heart bypass surgery, EECP is an outpatient procedure. It is widely used for people with congestive heart failure. In EECP, the blood vessels in the lower limbs are compressed, which increases the blood flow to the heart, helping the heart deliver blood with every heartbeat. Generally, some blood vessels develop extra branches over time that will deliver blood to the heart, functioning as a natural bypass.
It is administered daily for 1-2 hours over seven weeks.
Robot-Assisted Coronary Bypass Surgery:
It is a less invasive procedure with fewer and smaller incisions and faster recovery time. The heart is accessed and repaired using less than a 2-inch incision. This type of surgery is less painful, has lower risks of complications, and a quicker recovery time with better cosmetic results.
Sometimes, medication can resolve the problem, thus eliminating the need to perform surgical procedures like heart bypass surgery. Drugs like beta-blockers can relieve stable enigma and cholesterol-reducing drugs help in slowing plaque build-up in the arteries. Aspirin is another drug that is commonly suggested by doctors to help prevent heart attacks. It is very effective in people with a prior history of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease such as a heart attack or stroke. It can also be used preventively for individuals at a higher risk of heart attack and other atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases, provided they also have a lower bleeding risk.
Dietary and Lifestyle Changes
The best preventive and alternative measure to a healthy heart is a “heart-healthy” lifestyle. In addition, you can adopt the following measures:
- Taking a healthy and balanced diet inclusive of fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts, lean animal protein, fish, etc. will help in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
- Refrain from eating processed food, meats, refined carbohydrates, and sweetened drinks.
- Exercising daily for at least 20-30 minutes will help maintain heart health.
- Obesity is the mother of infinite diseases, maintaining a moderate weight or managing BMI can play a major role in maintaining an individual’s overall health.
- Smoking and drinking can put a person at higher risk of cardiac diseases such as heart attacks and stroke. Thus, quitting them is a step closer to a healthy life.
- Managing blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, etc. is another way to prevent heart complications.
- Getting proper sleep helps in keeping a person healthy and away from diseases.
- Drinking plenty of water helps in keeping the body hydrated thus, reducing the chances of getting a heart attack.
Best Doctors for Heart Surgeries in Delhi NCR
Dr. Alok Sehgal is a distinguished cardiologist with 20+ years of experience. Dr. Sehgal specializes in clinical cardiology and interventions. His expertise includes over 150 annual angioplasties, various diagnostic and interventional procedures, and a focus on intravascular imaging-guided interventions.
Dr. Yatin Arora serves as a Cardiothoracic & Vascular Surgery Consultant at Yashoda Hospital and Research Centre in Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad. He has completed his M.Ch. (CTVS) at AIIMS, Delhi. Dr. Arora’s experience encompasses teaching assistance, surgical support, and contributions to medical journals.
Dr. Ankur Agrawal is a highly skilled Cardiothoracic & Vascular Surgeon at Yashoda Hospital and Research Centre, Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad. Dr. Agrawal is trained at AIIMS and specializes in adult & pediatric cardiac, thoracic, and vascular surgeries.