What is Minimally Invasive Heart Bypass (CABG)?
A less invasive alternative to coronary artery bypass graft surgery is minimally invasive coronary artery bypass surgery, often known as beating-heart surgery (CABG). Traditional CABG surgery has risks, such as the need for a heart-lung bypass machine and a longer recovery time. Minimally invasive bypass surgery can restore blood flow to the heart without the risks, complications, and need for a heart-lung bypass machine.
Rather than cutting through the breastbone as in open-heart surgery, minimally invasive heart surgery entails making small incisions in the right side of the chest to reach the heart between the ribs.
You don't require a heart-lung bypass machine since beating heart surgery is done while your heart is still beating. Minimally invasive coronary artery bypass surgery is divided into two types:
Minimally invasive direct coronary artery bypass (MIDCAB)
If your doctor chooses MIDCAB surgery for you, you will not require the use of a heart-lung bypass machine to keep your heart beating throughout the surgery. In contrast to standard CABG surgery, your doctor will make tiny incisions in your chest to obtain access to your coronary arteries. In contrast to typical CABG surgery, which exposes the entire heart, the smaller incisions just expose the portions of the arteries that require grafts.
Off-pump coronary artery bypass (OPCAB)
OPCAB is a type of minimally invasive coronary artery bypass surgery that does not require the use of a heart-lung bypass machine and requires a smaller incision. Your cardiovascular surgeon will utilize an artery or vein from another part of the body to bypass the blocked vessel and restore normal blood flow during an off-pump coronary artery bypass procedure. Patients who undergo OPCAB have less pain and a faster recovery period than those who have standard CABG procedures.
When compared to open-heart surgery, the following are some of the potential advantages of minimally invasive heart bypass surgery:
- Blood loss is reduced.
- Infection risk is reduced.
- Pain and trauma are lessened.
- A shorter stay in the hospital, a faster recovery, and a faster return to normal activities
- Scars are smaller and less apparent
Besides heart bypass, a variety of cardiac problems can be treated using minimally invasive heart surgery. This includes:
- Aortic valve replacement
- Atrial septal defect and patent foramen ovale closure
- Atrioventricular septal defect surgery
- Maze procedure for atrial fibrillation
- Mitral valve repair or replacement
- Saphenous vein harvest for coronary artery bypass surgery
- Tricuspid valve repair or replacement
When is Minimally Invasive Heart Bypass (CABG) required?
Not everyone is a candidate for minimally invasive heart bypass surgery. Your doctor and treatment team will work with you to see if it's a viable therapy choice for you.
The ideal candidates are those who:
- Have one to three vessels that need to be bypassed
- Is too high risk (older age or suffers from COPD) to undergo traditional CABG surgery
Your doctor will likely evaluate your medical history and run tests to learn more about your heart health in order to assess whether minimally invasive heart surgery is the best option for you.
How is Minimally Invasive Heart Bypass (CABG) done?
The procedure for minimally invasive coronary bypass surgery can be done in a number of ways:
Robotic Heart Surgery
A robot will be used by your surgeon to bypass the obstructed vessel. Your surgeon will control the robotic arms from a distance while viewing the heart on a 3D monitor. The procedure is done in a Cath lab. The surgeon will insert a small, flexible tube (catheter) into an artery in the groin. This tube will have a small device inside it.
Your surgeon will use a thoracoscope with a video camera to insert into an incision in your chest and repair your heart with instruments strung through the thoracoscope to the heart.
A small incision was made in the chest. To access the obstructed vessel, your doctor will create a small incision between your ribs in your chest.
What is the Recovery after CABG like?
Recovery time is shorter following a minimally invasive coronary bypass than it is after a standard CABG. You'll generally spend a day or so in the intensive care unit (ICU). and about 4-5 days in a private hospital room to recover from the procedure. Within a week of your operation, you will have a follow-up appointment.
As you restore strength, it may take a few weeks for you to recover. You can be referred to a cardiac rehabilitation programme to help you return to your regular activities safely.
What Results Can I Expect from CABG?
The cardiac symptoms will be relieved and your quality of life will be improved with minimally invasive heart bypass surgery.
To keep track of your heart condition, you'll need to see a doctor regularly. Your heart's health may be assessed through tests.
Your doctor will also advise you to live a heart-healthy lifestyle, which includes eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, managing stress, and not smoking. A tailored programme of education and exercise to promote health after heart surgery is also recommended (cardiac rehabilitation).