Difference between Bypass Surgery and Open Heart Surgery

Key Difference: A bypass surgery is used for treatment of the narrowed arteries. A detour or a bypass is created around the section of a blocked artery. This new pathway is created by using a graft. Open heart surgery refers to a type of surgery in which the chest wall is surgically opened and heart is exposed. This surgery is performed on the muscles, valves, or arteries of the heart. The function of the heart during this surgery is conducted by a heart-lung machine.

A bypass surgery is used for treatment of narrowed arteries. A detour or a bypass is created around the section of a blocked artery. This new pathway is created by using a graft. A graft used in the process can be either natural or artificial. A natural graft consists of a portion of the vein, whereas an artificial graft can be a man made synthetic tube that works as a vein. The surgery is most often performed on the following arteries - coronary arteries of the heart, femoral arteries in the groin or popliteal arteries behind the knee. The graft is attached to the above and below section of an obstructed artery. Blood starts streaming though the new graft vessel and starts providing the essential oxygen and nutrients. A detour or bypass for the flow of blood in the arteries is made in this process, therefore the process is termed as a bypass surgery.

Open heart surgery refers to a type of surgery in which the chest wall is surgically opened and the heart is exposed. This surgery is performed on the muscles, valves, or arteries of the heart. The function of the heart during this surgery is conducted by a heart-lung machine. During this surgery, heart beating is temporarily stopped and the demand of oxygen is fulfilled by a heart-lung machine. A variant of open heart surgery is known as the beating heart surgery. In this type of surgery, the heart is not stopped from beating and the surgeon performs the surgery. Coronory Artery Bypass Surgery (CABG) is one of the common open-heart surgeries in the United States. 

Comparison between Bypass Surgery and Open Heart Surgery:

 

Bypass Surgery

Open Heart Surgery

Definition

A bypass surgery is used for treatment of the narrowed arteries. A detour or a bypass is created around the sections of a blocked artery.

Open heart surgery refers to a type of surgery in which the chest wall is surgically opened and heart is exposed. This surgery is performed on the muscles, valves, or arteries of the heart.

Used for

Treatment of coronary arteries in the heart, the femoral arteries in the groin or the popliteal arteries behind the knee.

Heart Valve Replacement, Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting, and several other congenital and acquired heart problems

Risks

Mentioning some of the risks involved in the surgery -

  • Swelling or inflammation at the incision site
  • Blockage of the bypass
  • Bleeding from the incision
  • Infection
  • Stroke
  • Blood clots
  • Memory loss
  • Lung or kidney failure
  • Chest wound infection

Mentioning some of the risks involved in the surgery -

  • Stroke - There is a danger of stroke during or after Open Heart Surgery procedure
  • Systemic inflammatory response
  • Air or fat embolism
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Allergic reaction to anesthesia
  • Heart attack
  • Arrhythmias
  • Compromised kidney or lung function

Potential Candidate for the surgery

  • Possessing symptoms of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), including claudication.
  • Have developed diabetic foot, or gangrene (tissue death) in your leg from diabetes or atherosclerosis.
  • Experiencing mesenteric ischemia.
  • Possessing leg ulcers.
  • Having a pulmonary embolism.
  • Have developed a renovascular condition.
  • Having carotid artery disease.
  • Ischemic Heart Disease that requires Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery.
  • Congenital Heart Diseases like Transposition of Aorta and Pulmonary artery, Tetrology of Fallot, Atrial Septal Defect, Ventricular Septal Defect.
  • Heart / Lung Transplantation.
  • Heart Valve Disease requiring Heart Valve Replacement.
  • Procedures on aorta like dissection of the aorta, aneurysm of thoracic or arch of aorta.
  • Coarctation of the aorta.
  • Tetrology of Fallot.

 

Types

  • Femoral-Popliteal Bypass – A healthy graft vessel is taken form elsewhere in the body.
  • Aorto–Bifemoral Bypass – An artificial graft is required for this kind of Bypass surgery.
  • On-pump surgery – It uses a heart lung maching to take over the heart’s ob of pumping blood to the organs and tissues.
  • Beating heart or off-pump surgery – Heart rate is slowed with medication or a device.
  • Robot assisted surgery – It allows a surgeon to use a special computer to control robotic arms that are capable of performing the surgery.

Image Courtesy: my.clevelandclinic.org, averaorg.adam.com

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