FAQs

What are the major risk factors for heart disease?

The major risk factors for heart disease, also called cardiovascular disease or CVD are smoking, high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, obesity, diabetes, age, gender, and heredity (including race).

What is the connection between high blood pressure (hypertension) and heart disease?

Blood moving through your arteries pushes against the arterial walls; this force is measured as blood pressure. High blood pressure (hypertension) occurs when very small arteries (arterioles) tighten. Your heart has to work harder to pump blood through the smaller space and the pressure inside the vessels grows. The constant excess pressure on the artery walls weakens them making them more susceptible to atherosclerosis.

What are the warning signs of heart disease?

Heart disease can manifest as chest pain, tightness, or discomfort. Sometimes even shortness of breath can be a symptom of a heart attack. Any unusual restriction in your activity could be a warning sign of heart disease. Dizziness or a fast or irregular heart beat is another symptom.

What is coronary bypass surgery?

Bypass surgery improves the blood flow to the heart with a new route, or “bypass,” around a section of clogged or diseased artery. The surgery involves using a section of blood vessel from another part of the body to bypass a part of the diseased coronary artery. This graft creates a new route for blood to flow, so that the heart muscle will get the oxygen-rich blood it needs. The procedure may be a double, triple, or even quadruple bypass depending on the number of arteries affected.

When can I go home following open-heart surgery?

It depends upon the kind of surgery you had and your health in general. But as a general rule, you can expect to go home in five to seven days following your surgery. With beating heart surgery, you may be able to go home in three days.

Does minimally invasive surgery reduce the amount of pain from conventional open-heart surgery?

One of the advantages of minimally invasive surgery is a smaller incision, which means less healing must take place after surgery. When there is less healing to do, your body can heal much faster. However, you will still experience some pain at the incision and at the surgical site. But because it is a smaller incision, you could experience less pain than you might otherwise experience.

When can I drive a car again?

Only your surgeon can give you a precise answer, based on your medical history and surgical procedure.

When can I return to work following open-heart surgery?

Generally speaking, you can return to work in about two months after a normal bypass.. If your job requires a lot of physical effort, such as heavy lifting, it could be as long as three months. The average recovery time after minimally invasive surgery is 1 to 4 weeks. Only your surgeon can give you a precise answer, based on your medical history and surgical procedure.