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What Do Heart Surgeons Do?

We all know that surgeons are skilled and have the dexterity for performing surgeries on a patient’s body in order to treat their diseases by removing any infections or causes of sickness in the body.

We also know that their field of expertise in the medical field requires so many years of education and medical training. Added to this, the competition in medical schools is cutthroat and they really expect high levels of excellence from medical students and doctors in training.

Now that you know a brief definition of what a surgeon does, did you know that there are actually different types of surgeons who performs different types of surgery for every needs of a person?

Sure, a surgeon can basically operate on any part of the person’s body but there are actually some surgeons who specialize in a specific field, unlike general surgeons.

Here are some surgeons who specialize in different types of surgical operations.

The first is a neurosurgeon which is a type of surgeon who performs surgical operations that revolve around the nervous system of a patient such as the brain, nerves, and spinal cord.

The next kind is a plastic surgeon, this type of surgeon performs surgical processes for reconstruction, aesthetics, and changing a person’s appearances purposes. This type of surgeon performs rhinoplasty (surgery on the nose to change its form), fixes a cleft lip, and as well as facial reconstruction.

Another one is a heart surgeon and this type of surgeon is responsible for operating on a patient’s circulatory system and mostly focuses on the heart.

These are some of the examples of specialized surgeons and there are many more but this article will only cover heart surgeons.

What Are Heart Surgeons?

Since the expertise of a heart surgeon was already previously mentioned in the segment before this, this will further elaborate about what they do, their salary, and other information regarding their expertise.

Heart surgeons are also called thoracic surgeons, cardiovascular surgeons, cardiac surgeons, and congenital surgeons.

They mostly specialize in performing surgeries in the thoracic region of the body which consists of the heart, lungs, and other organs that are around the chest area of a patient.

 

What Kind of Heart Surgical Operations do Heart Surgeons Do?

There are many kinds of surgeries that are being performed in accordance with what the patient needs for their treatment and some of the following surgeries are what heart surgeons mostly do on their patients:

  1. Heart valve repair: For the first type of surgery, the heart valve repair surgery is a surgical procedure to reat the patient’s heart valve/s.

Heart valves functions as regulator in the heart to keep the blood from flowing to the wrong direction. A person has 4 valves in the heart; the mitral valve, pulmonary valve, tricuspid valve, and aortic valve. These valves are constantly opening and closing whenever blood flows through.

But if one of these valves do not function accordingly, it will disrupt th blood flow in the body. This is why heart valve repair is done in heart valve dysfunctions in order for the heart surgeon to repair and replace the damaged heart valves.

  1. Heart transplant: This type of surgery is performed on patients whose heart condition or disease has gotten worse and this performing heart transplant surgery on them is the last resort instead of taking more medication.

This is one of the major and most risky heart surgery because it takes a lot of processes. A new heart from the donor will be switched with the patient’s deteriorating heart. The donor’s heart will be maintained in a cool temperature to undergo preservation before replacing the patient’s heart. 

  1. Aneurysm repair: An aneurysm is a balloon or like a bulge that forms in the circulatory system but it mostly happens in the aorta since this is the largery in the heart and it is at a higher risk for abnormal accumulation of blood in that artery which could affect the blood flow and the function of the heart.

The heart surgeon will place clamps above and underneath the part where aneurysm occurred and it wil be raplaced with a fabric graft. The graft allows the blood again through the aorta without any bulging and any swelling.

This type of open heart surgery could take about 2 hours up to 6 hours and once the surgical operation is over, the patient must stay in the hospital for a week for their recovery and for the doctors to check whether there are any changes to them after surgery so that it immedately be acknowledged.

  1. Congenital cardiac surgery: This type of surgery to treat a patient’s heart defect that was already present at birth. Congenital heart disease happens when the heart of an infant develops abnormally. Simply put, people who has congenital heart disease has an abnormal heart structure. It does not show any symptoms at first if the patient has this but it can worsen in the long run and it is very life-threatening.
  1. Cardiopulmonary bypass surgery: Cardiopulmonary bypass surgery is a surgical performance that are operated on patients who are experiencing blockage in their arteries which makes the blood to not pass through the blood vessels or the arteries in the heart.

This surgical procedure on the heart starts with the heart surgeon drawing blood from the patient’s leg, chest, or arms to extract healthy blood. Basically a bypass surgery is the process of redirecting the blood so that the blood flow would improve as well as make the heart muscle improve its function.

This kind of surgery may not completely heal or treat the cause of blockage in the patient’s arteries but at least bypass surgery can actually help in reducing the patient to experience breathing problems, shortness of breath, and other problems such as chest pains. Basically, bypass surgery can help improve the function of the heart and reduce the risk of it acquiring any more complications or diseases.

Sources:

https://surgery.ucsf.edu/conditions–procedures/congenital-heart-disease.aspx

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002948.htm

https://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/what-surgeries-treat-aortic-aneurysm

https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/heart-transplant/about/pac-20384750

https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/heart-valve-surgery/about/pac-20384901

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