Blog Image

Heart surgery: From preparation to recovery.

04 Aug, 2023

Blog author iconAshutosh

What is heart surgery

Heart surgery is a medical procedure performed to correct certain conditions and diseases of the heart. It is a broad term that encompasses a variety of different procedures, such as coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), heart valve repair or replacement, and heart transplants. These surgeries can be lifesaving and significantly improve the quality of life for patients with heart disease.

Transform Your Beauty, Boost Your Confidence

Find the right cosmetic procedure for your needs.

Healthtrip icon

We specialize in a wide range of cosmetic procedures


When it's needed

Heart surgery is typically needed when less invasive treatments, such as medication or lifestyle changes, are not effective in managing the heart condition. The goal of heart surgery can range from improving blood flow to the heart muscle to repairing or replacing heart valves, preventing abnormal heart rhythms, or even replacing a damaged heart with a healthy one.

Calculate Treatment Cost, Check Symptoms, Explore Doctors and Hospitals

Conditions treated by Heart Surgery

The conditions that commonly require heart surgery are listed, along with the types of surgeries typically used to treat them.

ConditionDescriptionTypes of Heart Surgery Commonly Used
Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)A disease that causes narrowing of the coronary arteries, reducing blood flow to the heart.Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG)
Heart Valve DiseaseConditions that affect the function of the heart valves, causing them to leak or not open properly.Valve Repair or Replacement Surgery
ArrhythmiaIrregular heartbeats that can affect the heart's ability to pump blood effectively.Pacemaker or Defibrillator Implantation, Cardiac Ablation
Heart FailureA condition where the heart can't pump enough blood to meet the body's needs.Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) Implantation, Heart Transplant
Congenital Heart DefectsHeart defects that are present at birth, affecting the structure and function of the heart.Various surgeries depending on the specific defect, such as Septal Defect Repair, Valve Repair or Replacement
Aortic AneurysmA bulge in the wall of the aorta, the main artery of the body, which can burst and cause serious bleeding.Aortic Aneurysm Repair
CardiomyopathyA disease of the heart muscle that makes it harder for the heart to pump blood to the rest of the body.Heart Transplant, Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD), Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD)

The decision to perform heart surgery is based on a variety of factors, including the type and severity of the heart condition, the patient's overall health and lifestyle, and the potential benefits and risks of surgery. This decision is made in consultation with a cardiologist and a cardiac surgeon, who will thoroughly evaluate the patient's condition and discuss all available treatment options.

Most popular procedures in India

Total Hip Replacemen

Upto 80% off

90% Rated


Total Hip Replacement (Unilateral)

Total Hip Replacemen

Upto 80% off

90% Rated


Total Hip Replacement (B/L)

Total Hip Replacemen

Upto 80% off

90% Rated


Total Hip Replacement-B/L


Upto 80% off

90% Rated



ASD Closure

Upto 80% off

90% Rated


ASD Closure

Types of heart surgery

There are several types of heart surgery, each designed to address specific heart conditions:

1. Open-Heart Surgery

This is a type of surgery where the chest is cut open and surgery is performed on the heart. The term "open" refers to the chest, not the heart itself. The most common type of open-heart surgery is coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), where a healthy artery or vein from the body is grafted, or connected, to a blocked coronary artery.

2. Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery

This type of surgery is performed through small incisions in the right side of your chest, as opposed to open-heart surgery, which is performed by cutting through the breastbone. It involves the use of special surgical instruments and a camera to guide the surgery.

3.Heart Transplant

A heart transplant is a surgical procedure to replace a diseased or failing heart with a healthy heart from a donor. This is usually considered when heart failure is so severe that it doesn't respond to other treatments and surgery.

4.Other Types

There are many other types of heart surgeries, including heart valve repair or replacement, arrhythmia treatments like pacemaker and defibrillator implantation, and surgeries to treat congenital heart defects. The specific type of surgery will depend on what condition needs to be treated.

Getting ready for heart surgery

Preparing for heart surgery involves several steps:

1. Medical Evaluations and Tests

These help your doctor assess your health and understand the structure and function of your heart. They may include blood tests, imaging tests, and a stress test.

2. Lifestyle Changes

You may be asked to eat a healthier diet, exercise, quit smoking, and reduce alcohol consumption. These changes can help improve your overall health and increase the success of the surgery.

3. Mental and Emotional Preparation

It's normal to feel anxious or stressed before heart surgery. Talking to a counselor or therapist, connecting with support groups, or practicing stress-reducing activities like meditation can help

Procedure : What happens during the surgery?

The specific procedure for heart surgery can vary greatly depending on the type of surgery being performed. However, there are some general steps that most heart surgeries will follow:

1. Pre-operative Preparations

Before surgery, you will undergo a series of tests to evaluate your heart health. These can include blood tests, chest X-rays, an electrocardiogram (EKG), and a coronary angiogram. You will also meet with your healthcare team to discuss the surgery and what to expect.

2. Description of the Surgical Process

On the day of surgery, you will be given anesthesia to put you to sleep. The surgeon will then make an incision in your chest to access your heart. The specifics of what happens next will depend on the type of surgery. For example, in a bypass surgery, the surgeon will take a healthy blood vessel from another part of your body and attach it to your heart so that blood can bypass, or go around, the blocked artery.

3. Post-operative Procedures

After the surgery, you will be taken to a recovery room or intensive care unit (ICU) to be closely monitored as the anesthesia wears off. You will likely have a breathing tube in your throat and several lines and tubes in your body to deliver fluids and medications. Your healthcare team will provide pain relief and monitor you for any signs of complications. Once you are stable, you will be moved to a regular hospital room to continue your recovery.

Risks involved in heart surgery

As a patient, it's important to understand that heart surgery, like any major operation, comes with potential risks. These can include:

  • Complications from Anesthesia: These can include allergic reactions or breathing problems. However, you'll be under the care of an experienced anesthesiologist who will monitor and manage these risks.
  • Infection: Infections can occur at the incision site or internally around the area where the surgery was performed. Your healthcare team will take steps to prevent this, such as giving you antibiotics.
  • Bleeding: Excessive bleeding during or after surgery is a risk. Your surgical team is well-prepared to manage this.
  • Heart Attack, Stroke, or Death: These are rare but serious risks. The decision to proceed with surgery is made after careful consideration of these risks versus the benefits of the procedure.
  • Post-Pericardiotomy Syndrome: This can cause fever and chest pain after heart surgery. It's treatable with medications.
  • Memory Loss or "Fuzzy" Thinking: Some people may experience memory loss or lack of mental clarity after heart surgery, often improving within six to 12 months.

What Happens Right After Surgery?

After the surgery, you'll be moved to an intensive care unit (ICU) for close monitoring. Here's what you can expect:

  1. Immediate Post-Surgery Care: You'll be closely monitored by a team of healthcare professionals who will manage your pain and monitor your vital signs, including your heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and breathing.
  2. Medications and Treatments: You may receive medications to manage pain, prevent infection, and control your heart rate and blood pressure. If you had a bypass surgery or valve replacement, you might also receive anticoagulants to prevent blood clots.
  3. Monitoring and Follow-Up Appointments: You'll have regular follow-up appointments with your healthcare team to monitor your recovery and address any concerns.

Recovering after heart surgery

Recovering from heart surgery is a gradual process that varies from person to person. Here's what you can generally expect:

Typical recovery timeline

In the first few days after surgery, you'll be in the hospital, where your healthcare team will monitor your progress. Once you're stable, you'll be discharged, but full recovery can take several weeks to a few months. Your doctor will provide a more specific timeline based on your overall health and the type of surgery you had.

Physical therapy and rehabilitation

After surgery, you'll likely participate in a cardiac rehabilitation program, which includes exercise training, education on heart-healthy living, and counseling to reduce stress and help you return to an active life.

Lifestyle changes for recovery and prevention

Adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle is crucial for recovery and the prevention of future heart problems. This includes eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, quitting smoking, managing stress, and taking prescribed medications.

Life after heart surgery: Short- and long-term outlook

The outlook after heart surgery depends on various factors, including the type of surgery, your overall health, and how well you adhere to your recovery plan.

1. Short-Term and Long-Term Prognosis After Heart Surgery

Many people experience significantly improved quality of life after heart surgery, including reduced symptoms, increased stamina, and a reduced risk of heart disease. The short-term prognosis is generally good for those who undergo heart surgery, with many people returning to normal activities within a few months. The long-term prognosis varies depending on factors like the person's age, overall health, and the specific heart condition.

2. Factors Affecting Prognosis

Factors that can affect your prognosis include your age, the severity of your heart condition before surgery, the presence of other medical conditions (like diabetes or kidney disease), and how well you follow your doctor's recommendations for lifestyle changes and medications.

3. Ongoing Care and Lifestyle Considerations

After heart surgery, regular follow-up appointments with your healthcare team are crucial to monitoring your heart health. Maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, a balanced diet, not smoking, and managing stress, is key to a successful recovery and long-term health.

Closing remarks

Heart surgery, a life-changing medical intervention, is a comprehensive journey that requires physical and emotional readiness from patients. It's a well-established procedure that can significantly improve quality of life for those with various heart conditions. While the process may seem daunting, remember that it's carried out by highly skilled medical professionals, and with the right preparation and support, patients can navigate this journey successfully. This process also underscores the importance of heart health awareness and prevention. Regular check-ups, early detection, and maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle can prevent the need for surgical intervention, making heart care one of the best investments for your health.

Healthtrip icon

Wellness Treatment

Give yourself the time to relax


Lowest Prices Guaranteed!

Treatments for Weight loss, Detox, Destress, Traditional Treatments, 3 day healthtrip and more

95% Rated Great Experience and Relaxing

Get in touch
Please fill in your details, Our experts will get in touch with you


Heart surgery is typically needed when less invasive treatments, such as medication or lifestyle changes, are not effective in managing the heart condition. It can be used to improve blood flow to the heart muscle, repair or replace heart valves, prevent abnormal heart rhythms, or even replace a damaged heart with a healthy one.