Before heart surgery, you and your family may have questions about the use of blood transfusions. In certain circumstances, getting a blood transfusion can be lifesaving. However, it is not without risks. Research shows that patients who require blood transfusions don’t do as well as those who don’t receive a transfusion. In fact, transfusions are associated … Read More
Sometimes, two arteries are better than one. For diabetics who have multivessel or extensive coronary artery disease, we have learned that bypass surgery to give blood a new pathway to the heart is better than angioplasty, which involves using a tiny device to open up narrowed blood vessels. The use of bypass surgery is supported by … Read More
Today, advances in digital imaging enhance the surgeon’s vision, allowing us to see the heart better than ever before. This new “set of eyes” empowers us to decide on the best treatment plan. We can now successfully perform very complicated procedures that were not possible before. Developing tools of the trade Centuries ago, scientists could … Read More
When I was still in medical school and they talked about meeting with patients before surgery, “informed consent” meant that you simply explained to your patient what a reasonable person would want to know about a procedure. The physician or sometimes a nurse would tell a patient what the surgery was and then hand him or … Read More
Your doctor said you came through your heart surgery with flying colors. Now you wonder, “What’s next?” and “How long will it take?” Your body immediately begins to heal, and although it may “seem” like it’s not fast enough, nearly 80 percent of your healing occurs during the first two months or what we call … Read More
Your doctor told you that you need heart surgery, so you did your homework, researching how to best select your heart surgeon and hospital. Although you don’t choose a hospital solely on reported data, one of the criteria you probably reviewed during that process was the rate of surgical site infections (SSIs) reported after cardiac … Read More
Patients with diabetes face special challenges during and after cardiovascular and thoracic surgery. We know that patients with uncontrolled blood sugar levels do worse following surgery than patients who carefully manage blood sugar levels. The risk of serious side effects after surgery is higher for patients with uncontrolled diabetes than it is for patients whose … Read More
Today there are many techniques we can use to minimize blood loss during heart procedures. Minimally invasive procedures help to decrease the blood loss. And certain techniques can be used, such as the Heart-lung machine, to salvage and return the blood to body.