Open Heart Surgery, know the good and the bad about it

As per the definition, open heart surgery is any surgery that is done by opening the chest cavity. The operation is performed on the valves, arteries and muscles of the heart.  It is also known as traditional heart surgery. Since modern procedures need relatively small incisions and now, there is no need for wide openings. Hence, the term can be sometimes misleading. 


Statistics reveals that patients not only recover from the disease early, but they get total relief from the symptoms after the procedure. Also, the patients remain symptoms-free for a long time provided they make the necessary change in the lifestyle. There are fewer post-operative complications in the procedure.

There are a few phenomenal benefits of open heart procedures:

• Shorter stays in the hospital

• Less injury to the heart

• Less need for blood transfusion

• Relatively safe procedure with a high success history

• Reduced risk of stroke


Though heart surgery becomes one of the commonest procedures worldwide, there are some inherent risks involved in every case. It is a fact that the risk percentage has reduced drastically in the recent years, it hasn’t reached zero so far. Also, the risk in off-pump surgery is no less than the conventional bypass surgery. Hence, doctors take utmost care while performing pre-operative analysis. The patient and family members are given a clear idea about it. Age of the patient, overall health condition, fitness level, willpower, and mental stability and diabetes are a few important factors that determine the risk level. 

• Excessive bleeding

• Infection

• Stroke,

• Respiration problems or lung infection

• Kidney failure

• Death (A rare possibility)

Since open heart surgery can correct heart problems like repair or replacement of heart valves, repair of abnormal parts of the heart, installation of artificial devices and replacement of a damaged heart, it is one of the most important procedures in the medical world.