An overview of cardiac surgery

Author(s): Christiana Williams

When a surgeon performs surgery on the heart or main vessels, this is referred to as cardiac surgery. It’s commonly used to treat ischemic heart disease complications, congenital heart disease, and valvular heart disease caused by a variety of factors such as atherosclerosis. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Access to cardiac surgery is still severely limited, if not non-existent, in low and middle-income countries. Cardiac surgery varies from other types of treatment due to advances in techniques and materials that have resulted in safer procedures and fewer perioperative risks. Despite the lower risk, postoperative treatment has been associated with a variety of issues, including acute renal failure, multiple organ system failures, neurological issues, and heart pump failure. Suture leaking can cause cardiac tamponed, occlusion of an artery graft, and paravalvular regurgitation, which are all common surgical complications. High-dose steroids minimize inflammation after cardiopulmonary bypass. Delirium is a common side effect after cardiac surgery that has been related to delayed recovery and a worse long-term outlook.