Coronary Artery Disease
Our high tech approach to surgical care includes state of the art technology
and minimally invasive techniques that provide the excellent patient care
you have come to expect in addition to shortening your recovery time.
Shasta Regional Medical Center surgeons perform a broad spectrum of surgeries
including general, orthopedic, vascular, spine, gynecologic, thoracic,
cardiac, urologic and ear, nose, throat.
We are pleased to offer a blood conservation option for surgical procedures
as well. From the time you enter our pre-op clinic until you are discharged
home, you will be under the care and guidance of our compassionate and
experienced staff, most of whom have received advanced certification in
their field. We look forward to meeting you and accompanying you on your
journey to recovery.
WHAT IS CORONARY ARTERY BYPASS?
This is the most common type of heart surgery. It is sometimes also called
coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG), coronary artery bypass, coronary bypassor bypass surgery.
In this procedure, a section of vein or artery from your leg, chest or
another part of your body is used to bypass the blocked or diseased portion
of a coronary artery, which brings blood to the muscle of your heart.
This creates a new, clear way for the blood to flow to get oxygen to your
heart muscle so it can work properly. This type of surgery is done to
the outer walls of the heart; it doesn't require opening up the chambers
of the heart.
You will hear folks talk about single, double, triple or quadruple bypass
surgery. This refers to the number of blocked arteries that had to be
bypassed. The need for more bypasses doesn't mean the heart condition is worse.
Normally during bypass surgery, the breastbone (sternum) is divided. The
heart itself is stopped and cooled. The blood that normally would be pumped
by the heart is sent through a heart-lung machine.
A long piece of vein is removed from the leg. In some cases, a small vessel
from the lower arm, the radial artery, may also be used for the bypass.
This is called a graft. One end will be attached to the ascending aorta,
the large artery that carries oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the
rest of the body. The other end of the graft will be attached to a coronary
artery below the blocked area. The surgery can take two to six hours,
depending on the number of bypasses needed.
RECOVERING AFTER BYPASS SURGERY
Your length of stay in the hospital after Bypass Surgery varies, but on
average you can expect to stay in the hospital for about 5-7 days. If
you have an office job, you can usually go back to work in four to six
weeks depending on physical demands of your job.
In some extreme cases, if your job is physically demanding you may need
to wait longer or find a job that is less physically demanding.
About 20 to 30% of bypass patients need a second bypass operation within
10 years. To prevent your new arteries from becoming diseased, it’s
important that you take steps to prevent your heart disease from getting
worse by limiting the amount of fat and cholesterol in your diet along
with maintaining a healthy weight. Quitting smoking and finding effective
ways to cope with stress is also very important.
For most bypass surgeries, a heart-lung machine is used to pump blood
throughout your body while the surgeon operates on your heart. In off-pump
heart surgery, this machine is not used. While the surgeon works on the
controlled part of the heart, the rest of the organ continues to function.
The off-pump technique is used for patients who have complications that
put them at risk if using the traditional heart-lung machine method of
WHAT IS A VALVE REPAIR OR REPLACEMENT
Heart valves are flaps, or leaflets, of tissue that ensure that blood entering
or leaving the heart moves in the proper direction, with no backflow.
The heart and its great vessels have a total of four valves, the mitral
valve, tricuspid valve, aortic valve, and pulmonary valve. Valvular disease
can affect any of these four valves, and can interfere with the normal
flow of blood through the heart. Heart valves that are defective may either
be repaired or replaced with a tissue or mechanical substitute, depending
on the nature and severity of the condition.
Repair of Heart Valves
One method of heart valve treatment involves restoring the valve to normal
function by removing damaged or malformed tissue and surgically reconstructing
the valve. An advantage of this method is that the patient's own valve
tissues are used, so that long-term anticoagulation is not required.
Replacement of Heart Valves
Replacement is necessary when the valve is degenerated beyond repair. The
old valve is removed and replaced with a new valve mechanism, which can be:
- bioprosthetic, made from animal tissue
- mechanical, typically carbon covered with cloth
- homograft, from donated human tissue
In some cases, replacement of a damaged aortic valve is accomplished by
using the patient's own pulmonary valve.