Introduction to Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery
When it comes to treating coronary artery disease (CAD), coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) has long been a tried-and-true method for restoring proper blood flow to the heart.
However, recent advancements in surgical techniques have given rise to a minimally invasive alternative known as keyhole coronary artery bypass surgery, which is changing the landscape of cardiac surgery world wide. In this blog, we will compare standard coronary artery bypass graft surgery with keyhole coronary artery bypass graft surgery, highlighting the benefits and considerations of each approach to help patients make informed decisions about their heart health.
Standard coronary artery bypass graft surgery
Procedure: In standard coronary artery bypass graft surgery, a large incision is made down the middle of the chest, and the breastbone is divided to access the heart. This approach, called a sternotomy approach, is also often referred to as “open-heart surgery.”
Grafts: The grafts used in standard coronary artery bypass graft surgery are usually harvested from the patient’s own veins or arteries (autografts), such as the saphenous vein from the leg or the internal mammary artery from the chest wall.
Visibility and Control: Surgeons have a direct line of sight to the heart during standard CABG, allowing them precise control during graft placement and bypassing blocked coronary arteries.
Recovery: Patients undergoing standard coronary artery bypass graft surgery typically have a longer recovery period, a more extended hospital stay, and may experience more postoperative pain and discomfort. The divided breastbone is wired together and takes 12 weeks to fully stabilise.
Keyhole coronary artery bypass graft
Procedure: Keyhole coronary artery bypass graft surgery , also known as minimally invasive CABG, involves making small incisions between the ribs or on the side of the chest, rather than a large bone cutting sternotomy cut.
Grafts: Grafts used in keyhole coronary artery bypass graft surgery can be sourced from the patient’s body (autografts) in the same way as with the traditional breastbone approach.
Visibility and Control: During keyhole coronary bypass surgery, visibility can be more limited, although in experienced hands, the use of specialized instruments and cameras inserted through the small incisions allows the surgeon to deliver excellent results in selected patients.
Recovery: Keyhole coronary artery bypass graft surgery typically offers a shorter recovery period, a reduced hospital stay, and less postoperative pain and discomfort compared to standard CABG. The incisions are often healed up within 7-10 days.
Benefits of Keyhole coronary artery bypass graft
Minimally Invasive: Keyhole coronary artery bypass graft surgery minimizes surgical trauma, reduces the risk of infection, and results in smaller, less noticeable scars.
Faster Recovery: Patients often return to their regular activities sooner, improving their overall quality of life.
Reduced Pain: Postoperative pain and discomfort are generally milder in keyhole coronary artery bypass graft surgery, making the recovery process more comfortable.
Lower Risk of Infection: Smaller incisions translate to a decreased risk of surgical site infections.
Considerations for Choosing the Right Approach
The choice between standard coronary artery bypass graft and keyhole coronary artery bypass graft depends on several factors, including the patient’s overall health, the extent and location of coronary artery disease, and the surgeon’s expertise. It is essential for patients to discuss their options thoroughly with a qualified minimally invasive surgeon who will be best placed to determine which approach is most suitable for their specific circumstances.
How we can help with coronary artery bypass grafts
At The Keyhole Heart Clinic, we understand that making this choice can be a significant decision for you or your loved one.
Our team of experienced cardiac surgeons are dedicated to providing personalised guidance and expertise to help you make the right decision for your unique circumstances. Your heart health is our priority, and we are here to support you on your journey to a healthier heart and a better quality of life.
Don’t hesitate to take the next step toward better heart health. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and discuss your options with our knowledgeable team. Your heart deserves the best care, and we’re here to help you every step of the way.