As the name suggests, this surgery is related to the diseases associated with the heart and in some cases, lungs as well.
Sometimes the surgery may require transplantation of the heart or the lungs. One needs to understanding the functioning of the cardiovascular and respiratory anatomy and physiology and cardio and thoracic pathology of the patient before performing the surgery. One of the most common surgeries include a coronary artery bypass grafting if it is related to the heart and in case of lungs, lobectomy or pneumonectomy for the carcinoma of the lung is performed.
In the coronary artery bypass grafting, a blood vessel from the patient’s body is used to bypass a blockage in one of the arteries supplying blood to the heart.
In lobectomy or pneumonectomy, the outer part of the lung called lobe is removed in cases of detection of a cancerous tumour.
Cardio Thoracic Surgery can be majorly divided into 3:
1. Adult Cardiac Surgery: The bypass surgery is performed while the heart beat continues. The heart beat is not stopped by the surgeon during the operation. This enables to perform several grafts on parts including posterior area of the heart simultaneously. Stay at hospital can be minimized; duration of operation is also short and requires lesser blood transfusion.
2. Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery: A wide range of cardiac surgeries for heart related diseases in new born to adolescents are included in the pediatric cardiothoracic surgery. Congenital heart diseases surgery, closed heart surgeries such as PDS Interruption and Coarctation Repair, open heart surgeries such as atrial septal defect and ventricular septal defect closure, minimally invasive heart surgery, pacemakers, neonatal surgery for heart conditions are a few of them.
3. Thoracic Surgery: This involves surgeries on the chest (thorax)., lungs, lumph nodes, esophagus and diaphragm.
Treatment post cardio thoracic surgery
- A Healthy diet has to be maintained for faster healing.
- Driving is allowed 6-8 weeks post-surgery.
- Physical activity can be increased gradually, although walking is allowed daily
- Lifting or pushing of heavy objects, climbing stairs regularly may not be allowed initially by the doctor.