Aortic heart surgeries are usually required for patients suffering from an aortic aneurysm, a medical condition marked by the formation of a bulge in a person's aorta. The aorta is the main blood vessel responsible for the flow of blood from the heart to the other organs of the body. Our arteries are extremely sensitive and can get severely affected by certain underlying medical conditions, injuries or problems with our genes. As the arteries get blocked the blood rushing through them exerts a lot of pressure on their walls causing the arteries to swell up leading to the formation of a balloon shaped bulge called aneurysm. If the bulge grows too large in size, it can burst, hereby, posing a serious threat to the patient's life. An aortic aneurysm can be treated with the help of a Composite graft surgery which is performed in all the leading heart hospitals.
Composite graft surgery can be majorly of two different types i.e open abdominal or open chest repair and endovascular repair.
Open Abdominal or Open Chest Repair is the most common type of composite graft surgery to treat an aneurysm but the procedure is highly invasive. The damages part of the aorta is replaced with an artificially created graft. The whole procedure is carried out under the influence of general anaesthesia such that the patient does not feel any pain. A large incision is made either on the patient's belly or chest depending upon the location of the affected aorta. In case the affected area is just above the heart, a heart-lung machine may be used to keep the patient breathing throughout the procedure. The defected part of the aorta is surgically removed and replaced with the graft which allows the normal flow of blood without any swelling. The surgery takes about 2 to 6 hours and the patient may be discharged within a week. Normal lifestyle can be restored within a month but certain precautions may be needed to be taken.
Endovascular Repair, on the other hand, is not as invasive as open abdominal repair. In this procedure, a catheter fixed with a balloon is introduced inside the patient's body. The stent graft is placed inside this catheter. The catheter is directed towards the affected area with the help of images generated by a microscopic camera. Once in position, the stent is placed inside the affected aorta with the help of the balloon. And once the graft or stent has been placed properly, the catheter and the balloon are removed. Since the procedure is minimally invasive, the recovery period is very short.