Heart Surgery Basics

Of all the human organs, the heart probably works the hardest of all. It pumps blood to all parts of the body continuously, night and day, year after year. It can arguably claim to see the most wear and tear over a person’s lifetime. Surgery to repair damaged hearts, therefore, has become a very common procedure.

Basic Heart Procedures

Some forms of heart surgery are barely even surgery at all. Angioplasty, for example, is the insertion of a long tube into a constricted blood vessel of the heart where a tiny balloon is inflated to open it up and get the blood flowing again. Usually, no tissue is cut in this procedure. By and large, however, heart surgery entails entering a patient’s body through an incision in order to operate on a heart problem.

Different Operations

There are many different kinds of heart surgery procedures, depending on the nature of the operation and the doctor’s preferences. Hypothermia is the creation of a still work environment for the doctor, and means the heart is “turned off” and drained of blood. In order to keep blood flowing artificial methods are used. This type of operation is known as a cardiopulmonary bypass. Many times people are born with malformed hearts. These are known as congenital birth defects, and when cardiologists (doctors who specialize in the heart) realize that the patient has a heart defect, they will perform heart surgery in order to correct it.

Recovery Process

Recovery from heart surgery – especially open-heart surgery, which is the opening of a patient’s rib cage in order to allow for access to the heart – is often lengthy and difficult. For example, the incision made on a patient’s body has to be large enough for a doctor to put his or her hands inside. People recovering from heart surgery often need several weeks if not months to get back to normal.

Given how difficult it is to get inside a person’s body in order to repair a heart, almost all procedures related to heart surgery are shockingly expensive. Most health insurance policies will cover most heart surgery procedures, but anyone facing heart problems needs to make sure that this is the case. Health insurance agents may consider the heart surgery you’re needing to be experimental in nature, and not cover it.