Undergoing Keyhole Heart Surgery: All You Need To Know

    Keyhole heart surgery is used to access the interior of the body by creating a small incision and avoiding open heart procedure. Laparoscopy, otherwise known as keyhole surgery, is usually performed under general anaesthetic and patients can go home on the same day after the procedure. There are a number of reasons why you may need to undergo minimal invasive surgery and visit a London heart clinic, so we have compiled a guide for all you need to know about keyhole heart surgery, so you can be prepared should you need to have it. 

    Reasons For Undergoing The Surgery 

    If you have a disease that affects the tricuspid valve, it’s likely that you will need to undergo keyhole heart surgery to repair or replace the tricuspid valve. This valve is vital, as it regulates blood flow through the heart in the right direction. If the tricuspid valve stops working, the blood is unable to flow correctly, which can make it more difficult for the heart to get the blood to other parts of the body. In turn, this will put extra stress on the heart, leading to bigger heart problems.   

    The Preparation 

    To prevent excessive bleeding during the operation, if you take blood-thinning medication, you will be asked to stop taking it a few days before the surgery. Additionally, if you smoke then you will be advised to stop this in the lead up the surgery, as smoking can delay healing after surgery and even increase the risk of complications, including infection. After keyhole heart surgery, you won’t be able to drive home, so you will need to arrange someone else to take you home. 

    The Keyhole Heart Surgery Procedure 

    During the keyhole heart surgery procedure, you will be put under anaesthetic, which is administrated through a long, thin tube that goes into the heart through a blood vessel found in the groin. If the tricuspid valve needs replacing, it can be successfully done through a small opening between the ribs and the chest. In some cases, surgeons are able to replace and repair the valve through the blood vessel in the groin, without making any cuts in the chest area. 

    The Benefits Of Keyhole Heart Surgery 

    Keyhole heart surgery, otherwise known as minimally invasive or minimal access heart surgery has a number of benefits. These include: 

    • You won’t need to have your breastbone divided, allowing you to heal over a shorter period of time. 
    • The scar from the surgery can be as small as 3 inches, compared to 12 inches from traditional procedures. 
    • You can wear what you want without concern, as the scar can be concealed from view. 
    • As the breastbone isn’t broken, the incision in the surgery is less painful for the patient. There may still be some pain after the surgery, but it will be much less than the traditional procedure. 
    • There is also less chance of infection, due to the smaller cut and the less invasive nature of the surgery. 

    Hopefully this guide has given you a further insight into keyhole heart surgery and if you need to undergo this surgery, you have a better understanding to put your mind at ease.


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