Heart surgery can be done with smaller incisions

Heart surgery can be done with smaller incisions

Classical heart surgeries performed by cutting the breastbone (sternum), which is known as the “board of faith” among the people, can also cause aesthetic anxiety in the patient, as they cause very large scars.

Acıbadem Bakırköy Hospital Cardiovascular Surgery Specialist Assoc. Dr. Ahmet Arnaz said, “Thanks to minimally invasive (closed heart surgery) methods, patients are less exposed to risks such as blood loss and infection. The length of stay in the hospital is shortened and the patient can return to his daily life much faster. The scars of major surgery on the breastbone also disappear.”

Many heart surgeries are performed using a minimally invasive technique. As an example, Assoc. Dr. Ahmet Arnaz said, “Thanks to the developing technology, coronary bypass surgeries can now be performed with a small incision without cutting the sternum. The heart is reached with 5-7 cm incisions under the left breast. Bypass operation can be applied to all heart arteries that are blocked by using the patient’s veins such as leg vein, forearm artery or thoracic artery. In short, it has become possible to perform almost all heart surgeries without cutting the sternum.”


So, is minimally invasive coronary bypass surgery performed on every patient? He continued, “In the past, this method was suitable for patients with one or two clogged arteries. Today, the number of diseased vessels is not an obstacle for closed bypass. After the vascular structures of the patients are evaluated with medicated CT angiography performed before the surgery, the surgical technique is decided. As a result, almost all patients are candidates for closed bypass surgery,” said Assoc. Dr. Ahmet Arnaz explains the advantages of this method as follows:


“These patients have a shorter hospital stay and recovery time after surgery. The patient, who spent about five days in the hospital after the procedure, rests at home for a week after discharge. Weekly check-ups are made and if everything is fine, the person can return to normal social and business life after the fifteenth day. In addition, the risk of blood loss and infection development during the surgery is also reduced. Since there is no large scar, the psychology of the patients recovers more easily, and depression develops in fewer patients. The fear of surgery also eases.”


Postoperative risks are also lower in minimally invasive coronary bypass surgery. However, there are points to be careful about. Acıbadem Bakırköy Hospital Cardiovascular Surgery Specialist Assoc. Dr. Ahmet Arnaz lists the possible risks of coronary artery bypass surgery as follows:

• Although it is less common than the classical method, memory loss, loss of mental clarity or blurred thinking may occur.
• Heart rhythm problems can be seen.
• Chest wound infection may occur, especially in obese or diabetic patients. Having this surgery before also increases the risk of this infection.
• Low-grade fever and chest pain, which can last up to six months, may be felt. In medicine, this is called postpericardiotomy syndrome.
• Pain may also be experienced at the incision site.