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Difference Between Bypass and Open Heart Surgery

heart_surgeryBypass vs Open Heart Surgery
Both open heart surgery and bypass surgeries are sophisticated surgeries performed on people to relieve a condition of the heart. However, there are a number of differences between the two surgeries. Basically, any surgery that starts off with opening your chest is called an open heart surgery. The point to remember here is that the term ‘open’ refers to an opening of the chest and not the heart per se.

An open heart surgery may or may not include an opening up of the heart. It may involve surgeries on other parts of the chest for instance, the arteries of the heart, valves or the muscles of the heart.

An open heart surgery may include techniques that are performed through small incisions on the chest. Inspite of the tremendous development of medical science, these techniques are still termed open heart surgery.

A coronary artery bypass surgery or CABG is done when the flow of blood through the arteries is impaired. This often happens when the coronary arteries that bring blood to the heart become thickened with plaque. Plaque may build up due to the accumulation of fat, cholesterol etc in the arteries. This prevents the smooth flow of blood through the heart. A bypass surgery literally ‘bypasses’ the blocked area of the artery to maintain a smooth flow of blood to the heart.

A bypass surgery is just a type of open heart surgery. There may be others like coronary angioplasty, heart transplants etc. Again, bypass surgery may not be performed in an open heart manner. Medical science has scaled great heights and less invasive techniques of performing a bypass are available now. The method the doctor chooses will depend on the expertise available in the patient’s area and also some conditions that are related to the patient’s health. For instance, the doctor may decide that a less invasive procedure is not working for you and then go for a more conventional open heart surgery to have a bypass.

In a bypass surgery, a blood vessel from either the chest or the leg is grafted on the coronary artery that has a blockage. The process ensures that the blocked part of the arteries is bypassed and blood can flow easily through this new vessel. It is a surgical procedure that requires hospitalization.

During this whole procedure, you heart is kept in a resting position. During this time, the function of the heart is performed by a heart and lung machine, so that blood circulation is maintained throughout the body.

Both open heart surgeries and bypass surgeries are life saving methods that can ensure that your heart stays fit and functioning for years to come.

1. Open heart surgeries relate to any surgery that opens up the chest cavity. Apart from bypass surgeries, there are other types of open heart surgeries also
2. A bypass surgery may be performed through an open heart surgery or through less invasive methods.

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  1. Nice explanation about by pass and open heart surgery. What is indications and contraindications for open heart surgery?

  2. Me and my friend were arguing about this the other day! Now I know that I was right. lol! ABC: Always Be Careful, DEF: Don’t Ever Forget (me), JKLM: Just Keep Loving Me, ZOPQRSTUVW: No other Person Quite Right Shall Treat U Very Well;- ur’s loving XYZ!

  3. Myself is a heart patient and underwent open-heart bypass surgery in 2008, I was informed that my case was one among 1/2million people, it was very dangerous & they have removed the artery vain. But to be honest the doctors said surgery is successful, but the patient’s condition is critical, for 72 hours nothing can be said. What the doctors said were really true, honestly speaking only Shirdi Sai Baba saved me… I am good today.

  4. i was not really knowing the difference between the open heart surgery and the bass pass surgery.

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