Cardiac Surgery

What is cardiac surgery?

general surgeons in an operating theatre

Cardiac surgery is surgical treatment of the heart and blood vessels to repair damage caused by diseases or disorders of the cardiovascular system. Some of the surgical procedures performed by cardiothoracic surgeons include coronary artery bypass surgery, heart valve surgery, and even heart transplantation.

When should I see a specialist for cardiac surgery?

Your cardiologist will refer you to a cardiac surgeon if you require surgical treatment. Some of the reasons for seeing a cardiac surgeon include: if you have a history of heart failure, coronary heart disease, faulty heart valves, abnormal heart rhythm, or need a heart transplant.

Enquire with our cardiothoracic surgeons.

Did you know?

Cardiac surgeons in Singapore are increasingly advocating the use of minimally invasive heart surgical procedures. ¹

What are the risks of cardiac surgery?

diagram of blood vessel and red blood cells

As with any surgical procedure, cardiac surgery has risks. These include:

● Bleeding.
● Infection, fever, swelling, inflammation.
● Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmias).
● Tissue damage to heart, lungs, kidneys, or the liver.
● Stroke.
● Death.

Your cardiac surgeon will discuss the potential risks with you. Be sure to ask for more information if you have any concerns.

How should I prepare for my appointment?

It is important to bring details of your complete medical history (including copies of lab and test result and a list of medications) as well as your family’s medical history. In addition, note down any questions or concerns you may have. Being well-informed will allow you to approach any necessary surgery with confidence.

Your specialist will discuss your symptoms and your past treatments, as well as your general state of health and may order some further diagnostic tests to decide if you need heart surgery.

What can I expect during cardiac surgery?

two pairs of hands and a rubber heart

Your experience of cardiac surgery will depend on your individual case and procedure. In addition, each patient responds differently to surgery. Your heart specialist will provide you with a detailed explanation of your procedure and what you can expect before, during and after your operation.

Generally speaking, heart surgery takes 4-6 hours and sometimes longer. Following your surgery you will spend time in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) before being moved to a regular hospital room. Your recovery will be closely monitored and you will be discharged between 4-7 days after surgery (in most cases).

You will be provided with extensive instructions and advice for your continued recovery at home. Be prepared for the fact that recovery takes time – you will need to be patient and take care of yourself.

How do I maintain my cardiac health after cardiac surgery?

To maintain a healthy heart, it may be necessary to introduce some important lifestyle changes. Your cardiac specialist will be able to advise you on this. A cardiac rehabilitation programme is also a good opportunity to have professional support and advice. It is essential to have a balanced diet, maintain a healthy weight, drink alcohol in moderation, stop smoking, introduce regular exercise, reduce stress, and avoid high blood pressure.

Request an appointment with a cardiothoracic surgeon today.

[1] Kofidis T, Chang GH, Lee CN. Establishment of a minimally invasive cardiac surgery programme in Singapore. Singapore Medical Journal. 2017;58(10):576-579. doi:10.11622/smedj.2017022.