Bypass surgery is an open heart surgery that is done to treat clogged or blocked blood vessels for proper blood supply to the heart muscles. The number of blood vessels that are blocked dictates the number of bypasses that need to be performed. If three blood vessels have narrowed down and have to be bypassed, it will be called a triple bypass surgery. Although bypass surgeries are usually open heart surgeries; it can be done through a minimally invasive procedure which is quite rare. However, it must be remembered that more the arteries are blocked, chances of doing an open heart surgery increases. Thus, a triple bypass surgery will definitely be an open heart surgery.
How Serious is a Triple Bypass Surgery?
As mentioned earlier, a triple bypass surgery is an open heart surgery, and it is serious just like any other medical operation. Triple bypass surgery procedure will take a longer time because the patient will need three blood vessels to be grafted, which is a severe case of coronary artery disease. However, it should be known that triple bypass surgery operations are done by a skilled team of doctors who are well versed with such surgeries. If proper care is taken and pieces of advice of the doctor are followed, the triple bypass surgery will improve the quality of life for the patient.
- The triple bypass surgery is an open heart surgery and thus performed under general anaesthesia.
- Blood vessels are taken from one part of the body, like the left side of the chest or the leg.
- Such blood vessels are grafted on the existing heart vessels before and after the blockage. It is to be remembered that in a typical triple bypass surgery, blockages are to be mended for three such blood vessels. Veins and arteries are grafted accordingly.
- In this way, the blood so pumped is re-routed from the blocked vessels to the newly grafted ones. This removes any kind of restrictions on the blood supply to the heart muscles which was present otherwise due to the blockages.
- It is to be noted that the entire procedure of the triple bypass surgery operation is done using a heart-lung bypass machine. This does the work of the heart during the surgery.
- The surgeon has to work quickly so that the machine does not have to work for a longer period of time. This reduces potential complications.
What to Expect After the Triple Bypass Surgery?
After the triple bypass surgery operation is done, the patient is allowed to wake naturally from the anaesthesia. Thus it takes around four to six hours for the patient to wake up and become alert. The patient will be kept in a cardiac care unit or ICU on the first day after the surgery for observation. Within 12 hours of the surgery, the patient not only wakes up but is asked to slowly walk few steps and sit on a chair at least once. This process is aimed to reduce the risks of serious complications like blood clots and pneumonia. It takes about few weeks for the patient to recover from triple bypass surgery.
What is the Recovery Procedure After the Triple Bypass Surgery?
Complete recovery of the patient from triple bypass surgery will essentially take around six to twelve weeks of time. A patient might need cardiac rehabilitation. This is nothing but physical exercise which has to be done under a professional therapist in order to strengthen the heart. This is done because triple heart surgery is quite a serious operation, and requires proper rehabilitation for getting back to normal life. Patients will be advised to follow a healthy lifestyle with balanced diet post surgery to prevent further complications.
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