This article by Sri Ramakrishna Hospital covers information on recent advances in care for patients facing cardiovascular problems, and how and why minimally invasive cardiac surgery plays a huge role in heart patients finding faster relief.
Surgical techniques across all mainstream fields have over the years changed the idea of minimalistic surgeries, thanks to the advancement of surgical techniques and the newly available technology. A cardiac surgery procedure typically involves cutting through the breastbone of a patient and is associated with the trauma that is usually associated with such open-heart surgeries. Minimally invasive cardiac surgery entails incisions in the right side or left side of a patient’s chest region. Through such incisions, in between the ribs, doctors can reach the hearts of their patients who are undergoing such surgeries.
A minimally invasive surgery refers to surgeries that work to minimize the surgical trauma associated with heart surgeries, their potential complications, and the issue of slow post-surgical recovery.
Why should a person opt for minimally invasive surgeries?
As is the case with most technology, there’s advancement with remarkable steps being taken forward, and the result of which cannot be held back. These surgeries are the latest of the cardiac surgery realm. Minimally invasive surgery is perceived to be the gold standard of such surgeries, as it is thought to allow customization as per a patient’s needs, apart from the prospect of a less frightening recovery period. To those doctors who specialize in less invasive cardiac surgeries, these procedures aren’t difficult to perform, and to those patients who need these surgeries, they are comparable in expenses to the conventional open-type procedure.
Procedures where minimally invasive cardiac surgery is beneficial to perform:
Several types of heart procedures are done in the minimally invasive cardiac surgery method. Cardio-Thoracic surgeons perform minimally invasive cardiac surgery with procedures such as:
- Mitral valve replacement or repair
- Tricuspid valve replacement or repair
- Atrial fibrillation (Maze procedure)
- Coronary artery bypass surgery (Saphenous vein harvesting)
- Replacement of aortic valve
- Atrial septal defect surgery
- Lung Biopsies
- Mediastinal Tumor excision
Types of minimally invasive cardiac surgery:
Typically, there are two distinct procedures of minimally invasive cardiac surgeries. One is robot-assisted heart surgery, while the other is thoracoscopic surgery. Regardless of their distinguishing factors, both these surgeries involve the surgeons reaching their patients’ hearts through small incisions that get made between the chest—more precisely, between the ribs of the chest. Delving deeper into the different types reveals the following information:
- Robot-assisted heart surgery: As the name suggests, this is a type of less invasive surgery where the surgeon’s hand movements are received and translated with meticulous care by the presence of robotic arms. These arms move the same way human wrists do. This procedure is similar to the traditional open-heart surgery, but the operation is performed by the surgeon with the assistance of robotic arms, while the surgeon views the patient’s heart through a magnified 3-D view of it, on a video monitor.
- Thoracoscopic surgery: This type of minimally invasive heart surgery entails the usage of an elongated, thin tube known as a thoracoscope. The tube comes fitted with a high-definition camera that gives complete vision to the surgeon, to perform the surgery. With the incisions made, in this type of procedure, the surgeon inserts long instruments to carry out the task of repairing the heart.
Is minimally invasive cardiac surgery for everyone?
Not everyone with heart conditions that require surgery is an ideal candidate for minimally invasive cardiac surgery. A thorough consultation with the doctor is necessary for them to analyze whether or not someone is eligible for such a procedure. The doctor, upon consultation, will arrange a patient for a physical examination, along with the reviewing of their medical history, and conduct tests.
Minimally invasive cardiac surgery is complex and requires the expertise of trained, experienced surgeons at a hospital that’s replete with the necessary equipment for the surgery.
Reasons to undergo less invasive surgeries:
Minimally invasive surgery is a boon to those eligible, and immensely beneficial when put on a scale of comparison with the traditional open-heart surgery. Some of the reasons people in India are moving towards the allure of minimally invasive cardiac surgery are the following:
- Minimized blood loss
- Reduced infection risks
- Trauma is lowered in its magnitude, along with pain
- Quicker discharge from the hospital
- Following the discharge, a much faster recovery
- A return to normalcy as a part of recovery that can even get people back to playing athletic games whenever they can
- Small incisions are made in minimally invasive surgery, and as an extension of this, the postoperative scars are smaller than in the traditional form of cardiac surgery and are less noticeable in their appearance and gives a cosmetic advantage.
Are there risks associated with less invasive surgery?
Yes. Similar to conventional open-heart surgery, minimally invasive cardiac surgeries can also include adverse risks that are along the lines of:
- Excessive bleeding
- The risk of stroke
- The risk of arrhythmias
- In the worst possible cases, death
Minimally invasive surgery can take the shape of the traditional open-heart surgery, too, in the middle of the procedure, should the surgeon decide so. It is important to prepare oneself well for the surgery, regardless of the kind of surgery that they are to undergo.
Things to expect after minimally invasive cardiac surgery (MICS):
If the surgery is done in a top hospital, like Sri Ramakrishna Hospital where experienced surgeons and team are present, a patient can expect the following to be the norm after their minimally invasive cardiac surgery is complete:
- Discharge from the hospital within two to five days of the surgery’s completion. This is, as discussed already, a huge benefit of undergoing this kind of surgery.
- Upon the time to leave the hospital premises, the surgeon will instruct the patient about their recovery, their return to normalcy, and the general guidelines for their everyday life.
- An office job can be returned to in about 15 days. In some cases, even a week is known to be enough time for a return.
- In about 1-month post-surgery, a full return to one’s normal routine as soon as possible, including driving.
If one happens to be in Coimbatore, get in touch with Sri Ramakrishna Hospital(https://www.sriramakrishnahospital.com) and book an appointment with one of their cardiovascular specialists today. Their surgical team led by Dr. S. Thiagarajamurthy has the largest experience in minimally invasive cardiac surgeries in Tamil Nadu and has performed over 600 MICS procedures with excellent results and recovery. They also offer online consultations if one lives far away or is worried about COVID-19. Do not hesitate to call 7970 108 108 if there are any concerns.