Heart Failure Surgery
If your coronary arteries (arteries that supply blood to the heart) become blocked or lined with plaque causing less-than-normal blood flow through them, the heart muscle can’t get the right amount of oxygen-rich blood to work properly. Your heart cannot pump normally, and this can lead to heart failure.
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery involves the use of a blood vessel graft to bypass one or more blocked coronary arteries. The bypass restores normal blood flow to the heart muscle. The graft goes around the clogged artery/arteries and forms new pathways for oxygen-rich blood to flow to the heart muscle. The blood vessel grafts usually come from your own arteries and veins in the chest, leg or arm.
Your doctor will determine if your heart failure is caused by coronary artery disease and if CABG surgery is right for you. Although patients with heart failure have an increased surgical risk during CABG surgery, new strategies before, during and after surgery have decreased the risks and improved outcomes.
As heart failure gets worse, changes in the left ventricle (lower chamber of the heart) may cause the papillary muscles to stretch out of shape. The papillary muscles support mitral valve leaflet function to keep blood flowing in only one direction. When the papillary muscles get weak, they can’t properly support the mitral valve leaflets, and the valve starts to leak. Mitral valve repair usually involves reshaping the leaflets and supporting the mitral valve with a ring.
Mitral valve repair surgery helps to
- Preserve the natural anatomy of the heart
- Improve the heart’s ability to pump properly
- Decrease heart failure symptoms
- Improve survival
Heart failure can be caused by aortic valve stenosis (stiffness) or regurgitation (leaky valve). If the valve cannot open fully, or if blood leaks backward into the left ventricle, the heart has to pump more strongly to meet the body’s needs for oxygen-rich blood and heart failure can occur.
There are two types of aortic valve surgery — aortic valve repair and aortic valve replacement. If your heart failure is caused by aortic valve disease, your surgeon will determine the type of treatment best for you after considering a variety of factors, including the results of diagnostic tests, the structure of your heart, age and the presence of other medical problems.
Reviewed: 03/15 | #12905