Saturday, April 13, 2024

Open Heart Surgery Scar Pictures

Open Heart Surgery Patient Risk

My journey through open heart surgery – Scars and tears

The risk of open heart surgery to any patient is very dependent on the patient themselves and how sick they are. Of course a healthy 45 year old is going to have a lower risk than an 85 year old. Several risk factors have been found to be important when determining the risk for any given patient.

Age Older patients are in general at higher risk than younger patients.

Sex In general female patients have higher risk than make patients.

Obesity Obese patients are at higher risk.

Heart Function Pumping function of the heart is important those with impaired heart pumping function are at higher risk.

Kidney Function Patients with impaired kidney function have higher risk the worse the kidney function the higher the risk.

Heart Attack Those that have had a heart attack are at higher risk, particularly if the heart attack is around the time of surgery or if there are active symptoms of chest pain at the time of surgery.

Lung Disease Those with known lung disease, such as COPD, are at higher risk the worse the lung disease the higher the risk.

Emergency Surgery Surgery that needs to be performed emergently due to active symptoms, or instability carries a much higher risk than elective planned surgery.

Presence of Multiple Problems The more issues that need fixing, the higher the risk for example someone needing a simple bypass operation is lower risk than someone needing a bypass and 2 valves fixed at the same time.

Who Is A Candidate For Minimally Invasive Heart Valve Surgery

Although there are rare cases in which I would recommend traditional surgery, most people are eligible for a minimally invasive surgery.Its common for people to hear that theyre too old, sick, or frail to have heart valve surgery. They may not be physically able to handle a long procedure or recovery period. If they have bad knees or hips and rely on their arms to stabilize themselves, it can be even more difficult to allow the breastbone to heal following traditional heart valve surgery.This is not a problem with the minimally invasive procedure. The surgery is much shorter, which eliminates some potential complications from being under general anesthesia for a long time. And because we dont divide the breastbone, we don’t need to wait for it to heal before my patients return to their normal activities.Minimally invasive surgery also is preferable for patients who need to return to work to pay the bills. Instead of waiting a month or more, they will be back to work much quicker.

Strictly Posterior Thoracotomy : A Minimal

In resource poor settings, the MBTS is often performed for symptomatic relief of Fallots tetralogy. We adopted the SPOT, a minimal access technique for the construction of the MBTS . The approach represents a safe and cosmetically superior alternative to the standard posterolateral thoracotomy, the scar being imperceptible to the patient. The excellent cosmetic appeal and preservation of body image makes this approach particularly attractive.

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Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery Scars

The following picture shows you the scar of a male patient in his 40s who underwent minimally invasive coronary surgery four weeks earlier. The surgical incision is placed along the skin crease underneath the breast. A few months later that scar will turn into a thin white line that is barely visible. His hospital stay after surgery was less than 48 hours and he was back to work in less than two weeks. We do recommend our patients to avoid strenuous exercise and sports for at least a month after discharge. Such a quick recovery after bypass surgery is, needless to say, a fantastic progress in comparison to the same operation performed through a full median sternotomy.

In women the coronary bypass scar is tiny and completely hidden in the skin fold underneath the left breast, as you can see in the picture below:

Here is the same patient wearing her bra. Again, no scar is visible:

The next two pictures show you the postoperative results in a female patient who traveled from Florida to our center to treat severe leakage of her mitral valve. She is a Jehovahs Witness and she could only accept a bloodless surgical option. She underwent a Minimally Invasive Mitral Valve Repair with strict bloodless techniques and was able to return home two days later. The first picture is a good demonstration of the superior cosmetic results we can achieve in comparison to a traditional median sternotomy. There are obviously no visible scars.

Care Of Your Incisions

My Zipper over my Open Heart Surgery Scar done by Brandon at Electric ...

As you heal, your incision will look better and the soreness will go away. Changes in the weather, too much or too little activity and sleeping in one position too long may cause increased soreness. You may also feel numbness or itching or see redness or swelling, which will also stop with time. To care for your incisions, we suggest:

  • Wash gently with mild soap during your daily shower. Dry carefully with a towel. Pat it dry Do not rub the incision.
  • If you have small pieces of white tape over your incision, you must remove them after you have been home for seven days. If the strips come off on their own, you may leave them off.
  • If your incisions are puffy, have areas of redness, are oozing, or begin to open slightly, call your surgeon.
  • Women should wear a bra. A good support bra will reduce the tension placed on the incision. If the bra bothers you, you may put a small piece of gauze under the bra for added comfort.
  • For discomfort or soreness, you may use a heating pad. Apply it four or five times per day on the low setting for about 20 minutes each time. If needed, take pain medication prescribed by your doctor.

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All Incisions Are Closed Using The Same Meticulous Technique Identical To That Used By Plastic Surgeons

Whenever possible, incisions are placed along natural skin lines. Scar improves with time, and the final result is generally evident 6 months after surgery. Fairer-skinned individuals generally have lighter-colored scars than individuals with darker complexions. Though individual results may vary, most patients can expect results within the range of examples shown here.

What Is Recovery Like After Open

Recovery time varies depending on the surgery type, complications and your overall health before surgery. It can take 6 to 12 weeks to recover from an open-heart procedure.

Your surgeon will let you know when you can return to work and other activities. Typically, you shouldnt drive or lift anything heavy for the first six weeks.

Some people need to take blood thinners after heart surgery to prevent blood clots. Your healthcare provider may also recommend cardiac rehabilitation. This medically supervised program can help you regain strength and stamina and improve overall heart health.

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How Does Minimally Invasive Heart Valve Surgery Work

There are four valves in the heart: the aortic valve, mitral valve, pulmonary valve, and the tricuspid valve. These valves open and close to allow blood to pass through the different chambers of the heart and distribute oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. Malfunction of any of these valves can cause inefficient blood flow.

Three main problems can arise when a valve doesnt work properly:

  • The valve doesnt close completely, allowing blood to leak back into the heart. This is known as regurgitation.
  • The valve doesnt open fully, which reduces blood flow out of the heart. This is known as stenosis.
  • An infection damages or destroys the valve, known as endocarditis.
  • UT Southwestern is one of a handful of centers in the U.S. where heart valve surgery is performed through a small incision without breaking any bones. Generally, heart valve surgery is performed by splitting the sternum to access the heart, but our surgical approach does not require breaking any bones. Click on the animations below to see how minimally invasive heart valve surgery differs from traditional heart valve surgery.

    Sizes And Types Of Open Heart Surgery Scars

    Caring for Your Incision after Cardiac Surgery

    The size of your open heart surgery scar depends on the type of procedure that was performed. According to, if you have a minimally invasive procedure , the scar size may only be three inches. However, if your procedure requires the sternum to be broken, the incision is typically much larger. The scar can be up to 8 inches long for women, and up to 10 inches long for men.

    While many scars will remain flat and may fade over time, there is a possibility for scars, especially those on the chest area, to develop poorly. Raised, discolored scars can result if the body produces too much collagen during the wound healing process. The result can either be a hypertrophic scar or a keloid. Both are raised and red, but the feature that distinguishes keloids from hypertrophic scars is their growth past the original scar boundary. These scars are raised, turn from red to brown, and often have a lumpy appearance. Left untreated, keloid scars can continue to thicken and grow indefinitely. Skin with darker pigmentation is more prone to keloid formation.

    On the other hand, clinical studies have shown that silicone gel and sheeting are considered the first-line therapy to manage and minimize scarring, including scars after open heart surgery. In fact, silicone gel products are the only topical treatments recommended by the scar experts who create scar treatment guidelines for other doctors.

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    Minimally Invasive Surgical Techniques Are Replacing Sternotomies

    Minithoracotomies have replaced sternotomies in expert minimally invasive heart surgery centers. We now adopt the routine use of minithoracotomies in all types of open heart operations with excellent results. A minithoracotomy is a 2 incision in between two ribs that is placed over the area of the heart that needs to be exposed to perform our cardiac procedure. This approach is used to treat the full range of aortic and mitral valve disease, Coronary Disease, Atrial Septal Defects, Ventricular Septal Defects, Septal Hypertrophy, Atrial Myxoma, and other cardiac tumors.

    The operation is performed through a tiny surgical window with specially designed instruments. There is no bone cutting involved and for this reason there is minimal bleeding and minimal pain with a much quicker recovery. In addition, these incisions heal very well. Wound infections are almost unheard of and the best cosmetic results are achieved. Patients can soon resume a good level of physical activity without any concerns about the wound healing.

    Our Heart Surgery Programs And Centers

    Our surgeons treat people through these condition-specific centers and programs:

    • Artificial Heart Program. As one of the first programs in the U.S., people with advanced heart failure receive life-saving VADs.
    • Center for Heart Valve Disease. When your heart’s valves don’t work, blood doesn’t flow through your heart and body as it should. Experts repair many heart valve problems using minimally invasive surgeries.
    • Center for Thoracic Aortic Disease. People with diseases like aortic aneurysms or dissections have immediate access to advanced life-saving treatments. UPMC’s surgeons are world-renowned in aortic surgery for people with Marfan syndrome, Loeys Dietz syndrome, and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
    • Heart Transplant Program. Heart transplant surgeons treat the most complex, high-risk people.

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    Open Heart Surgery Scar For Women Jennys Picture Request

    By Adam Pick on August 15, 2008

    Jenny must be tired of seeing my scar sprinkled throughout this website. She asks, Adam Do you have any pictures of incision scars for women who have had open heart surgery? Im getting ready for open heart surgery and would like to see what my chest scar might look like.

    Well, I do have two pictures of women which show an open heart surgery scar at different stages of the recovery. The picture below shows a woman still in the hospital .

    The next picture shows a lady who appears to be fully recovered. You need to look real close to see the incision scar which is no longer red but white. Yes, this picture is a little artsy but it does a good job showing just how well the skin can heal.

    I hope that helps show what an open heart surgery scar looks like for a woman. If you have any pictures that you would like to add to this blog, please leave a response.

    Keep on tickin!

    Outcomes Of Surgical Procedures

    Open heart surgery before and after wire retrieval. Before the wire ...

    The patients reviewed here have been reported on earlier in several publications the outcomes of some are briefly presented here. Surgical outcomes at the National Cardiothoracic Center published in peer reviewed journals are comparable internationally and have improved over the years.

    There was no hospital mortality after pericardiectomy for chronic constrictive pericarditis among 11 patients who underwent the procedure between 2000 and 2005 . Among 64 patients who underwent modified De Vega annuloplasty for inorganic tricuspid valve regurgitation and followed up for an average of 61.3 months, 64.1% of the patients had no postoperative tricuspid regurgitation, 28.5% had grade 1 regurgitation, and 9.4% grade 2 regurgitation. Hospital mortality was 4.7% .

    There was no procedure related mortality was observed among 355 patients undergoing permanent pacemaker implantation between 1992 and 2009. Twenty five patients developed complications, the commonest being lead-electrode dislodgement .

    Between 1994 and 2009, 16 patients presenting with esophageal perforations underwent surgical intervention. Six patients presented within 24 h of their injury and 10 presented after 24 h. Thoracotomy and intrathoracic primary repair was possible in five cases. Esophagectomy, cervical esophagostomy and feeding gastrostomy were carried out in 11 . One patient died after oesophagectomy from overwhelming sepsis .

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    The Rise Of Bloodless Heart Surgery Techniques

    One more challenge to the old fashioned way to perform cardiac surgery was brought about by a renewed interest in bloodless heart surgery. The routine use of minimally invasive and beating heart surgery techniques has dramatically improved our ability to avoid transfusion in the majority of our surgical patients. The avoidance of the heart lung machine can in fact improve the bodys ability to stop bleeding after open heart surgery and smaller incisions that do not cut through bones are not as prone to bleeding as a full median sternotomy. Get more details on the page dedicated tobloodless heart surgery.

    The Advanced Heart Surgery Program’s Noteworthy Accomplishments

    UPMC’s heart surgeons:

    • Have done 2,000 TVARs to date and the highest volume of MitraClip implants in Pa.
    • Were the first in the nation to implant a HeartMate 2® LVAD device.
    • Did the first minimally invasive coronary bypass graft in the tri-state region.
    • Have done more than 20,000 open-heart surgeries in the past 10 years.
    • Are of the few in the U.S. that have done more than 1,700 adult heart transplants.
    • Have helped pioneer minimally invasive heart surgery techniques, including robotic surgeries.
    • Continue to advance new techniques for TAVR surgeries.

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    When Should I Call The Doctor

    You should call your healthcare provider if you experience:

    • Chest pain other than normal discomfort at the incision.
    • Signs of infection at the surgical site, such as oozing and redness.
    • Slurred speech or other signs of stroke.

    A note from Cleveland Clinic

    Open-heart surgery is a life-saving procedure. But it is also a major surgery. Recovery can be long. When possible, you should take steps to improve your health like exercising, losing weight and quitting smoking before surgery. These actions may make recovery easier. Its normal to have concerns before undergoing a heart procedure. Dont hesitate to share questions and concerns with your healthcare provider.

    Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/25/2021.


    Posted: Jun 15 : 29 Am

    WATCH Triple Bypass Open Heart Surgery

    Gospel singer-songwriter Amy Grant has shared photos of her battle scar following her miraculous recovery from unexpected open heart surgery.

    The Saved By Love hitmaker successfully underwent the procedure on June 3 to correct a partial anomalous pulmonary venous return , a congenital heart condition.

    Grant took to Instagram on Sunday to give fans an update on her surgery and recovery.

    The 59-year-old Grammy winner likened the experience to a non-runner who was signed up for a marathon, adding that the support and prayer she received from friends, fans, and family was just pushing me through.

    My recovery has honestly felt miraculous, she said. I want to say thank you to each person who said a prayer for me. Prayer changes everything. She wrote alongside a series of photos showing the long scar in the middle of her chest.

    Grant had started her post by addressing the crisis of the coronavirus pandemic and global protests prompted by the death of George Floyd, saying it was a crazy, broken, yet beautiful time.

    I know there is so much going on in the world right now. This is a crazy, broken, yet beautiful time. And in the midst of all of that in the midst of all of our awareness and becoming and learning to love and see each other.

    She signed off by urging her followers to keep those prayers going for our country and lets turn all the brokenness into love and seeing each other.

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    What Happens During Open

    Heart surgery is complex. Some surgeries may take six hours or longer. You will receive anesthesia and be asleep during the procedure.

    Surgery steps vary depending on the heart condition and procedure. In general, your surgeon:

    • Makes a 6- to 8-inch long incision down the middle of your chest.
    • Cuts the breastbone and spreads your ribcage apart to reach your heart.
    • Connects the heart to a heart-lung bypass machine, if youll have an on-pump surgery. An anesthesiologist gives IV medication to stop your heart from beating and monitors you during the surgery.
    • Repairs your heart.
    • Restores blood flow to your heart. Usually, your heart starts beating on its own. Sometimes, the heart needs a mild electrical shock to restart it.
    • Disconnects the heart-lung bypass machine.
    • Closes the breastbone or other incision with wires or sutures that remain in your body.
    • Uses stitches to close the skin incision.

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