In the most basic sense, the heart pumps blood throughout the body through the circulatory system. It is small, it can be compared to the size of a large, balled, fist. Furthermore, it beats on average 100,000 times per day on an average of 70 beats per minute. Blood circulating through the pulmonary circuit travels from the right side of the heart up to the lungs, and then back to the left side of the heart. Blood circulating in the systemic circuit leaves the left side of the heart, travels to the aorta, and then enters into the arteries and capillaries. Pretty incredible if you ask me.
So what happens when something goes wrong with an individual’s heart? In the event that there is a problem with an individual’s heart, heart surgery is considered and looked at to see if it is a good option. Heart surgery corrects a variety of problems with the heart, and many are performed annually. Keep in mind that heart surgery can be a viable option to correct heart problems in both children and adults alike. Surgeons utilize heart surgery in order to: repair heart valves, repair abnormal or damaged structures in your heart, implant medical devices to aid your heart in it’s functionality, or to completely replace a heart with a healthier one.
In speaking about adult heart surgery, the most common type of surgery is coronary artery bypass grafting. During this surgery a healthy artery or vein from another place in your body is grafted to a blocked coronary artery. This grafting creates a new path for more oxygen rich blood to be able to flow to the heart. Not only will this surgery decrease any pain you may feel, but it can also decrease your risk for heart attack. That’s a good reason to me, to obtain this surgery.
A second type of surgery deals with the mitral valve. If you haven’t heard of it under this name, it can also be known as the bicuspid valve. I think that is a little bit more common. It is a small (4-6 centimeter) dual flap valve that is located between the left atrium and left ventricle of the heart. The function of the mitral valve is to help the passive flow of blood into the left ventricle of the heart. It receives blood that has traveled from the lungs, down through the pulmonary veins into the left atrium of the heart, and allows it to passively travel on to the left ventricle of the heart which is the main pumping chamber. It also acts as a road block from the blood being able to flow back out once it has gotten to the left ventricle. Mitral valve repair is a type of heart surgery that is typically completed by a heart surgeon in order to treat stenosis or regurgitation of the mitral valve.
Ok, that’s all fine and dandy, but what if it happens to me and I need heart surgery? Rest assured that NYU Heart Surgery is the way to go! Not only are they qualified and experienced in performing surgery in instances like the ones I’ve discussed, but they are also doing a lot of research into minimally invasive surgery. Call them today and see what they can do for you!