If you have been advised a bypass surgery and are worried ahead of the procedure, do not. We are here to help you with some basic information that will surely make you comfortable and at ease.
“Do not be afraid or panic. Remember, correct procedure performed by experts will improve your quality of life significantly. This surgery will only enhance your cardiac health,” said Dr Upendra Bhalerao, consultant cardiothoracic and transplant surgeon, Wockhardt Hospital.
When is bypass surgery necessary?
One has to undergo bypass surgery when the coronary arteries develop multiple blockages due to accumulation of cholesterol. The surgery allows to restore the blood supply to one’s heart.
However, many people refrain from undergoing the surgery owing to certain myths surrounding it. Dr Bhalerao busts some of them.
Myth 1 Cardiac surgery is very risky
Fact: With upgraded technology and medical practices, the risk associated with cardiac surgeries, like valve replacement surgery or coronary bypass surgery, is very less. “Operations performed at the right time have the success rates of 98 per cent or more,” he said.
Myth 2 Stents are safer than bypass surgery
Fact: One should understand that placing stents is not possible in every case, especially if you have critical blockages in a particular anatomical position. “Bypass surgeries have proven to be the best method to relieve chest pain and heart failure symptoms from blockages and promise least chances of getting the next heart attack as compared to stents. Bypass surgery ensures long-term relief. On the other hand, the downside of stent implementation is that if a patient has stents placed inappropriately it is unlikely to gain long-term benefits,” said Dr Bhalerao.
Myth 3 Bypass surgery has higher complication rate in patients who have diabetes
Fact: Multivessel coronary artery disease is more common in patients with diabetes. According to Dr Bhalerao, bypass surgery is the most preferred therapy for diabetics. “In all scientific data, its well established that bypass surgery gives a long-lasting result, up to 25 years in diabetes patients with similar risks and complications as in patients without diabetes,” he said.
Myth 4 There is total restriction on physical activity after undergoing cardiac surgery
Fact: This is a false claim. Patients are allowed to resume with their routine lifestyle within 2-3 weeks of the operation accompanied with some dietary restrictions. In fact, the doctor recommends you to exercise more often to stay healthy and fit. “Under the guidance of a doctor, patients can go for jogging, running, swimming or any other physical activity after recovering from surgery,” said the expert.
Myth 5: Coronary bypass operation fails after few years
Fact: With good lifestyle control, regular medications, benefits of bypass operation with arterial grafts usually lasts for at least 20-25 years. Some patients even enjoy longer, symptom free intervals, said Dr Bhalerao.