Cardiac surgery gained immense popularity and became common in the mid-20th century. The development of open heart surgery techniques and the introduction of the heart-lung machine were the significant milestones that helped cardiac surgeons operate on the heart when it was not beating, thus enabling complex procedures.

This article is drafted by taking insights from specialists like Dr. Sujay Shad, a top heart surgeon in Delhi. It details what cardiac surgery is and the most common cardiac procedures performed. Continue reading for detailed information.

What Is Cardiac Surgery?

Cardiac surgery is a surgical procedure that involves a large incision in the chest and making a cut through the breastbone. It describes any surgical procedure that involves the heart and blood vessels that carry blood to and from the heart. Cardiac procedures are well known for treating a variety of cardiovascular problems, including coronary artery disease, aneurysms, heart-valve disease, heart arrhythmia, and congenital heart defects. 

Some patients might not be physically fit or healthy enough to undergo cardiac surgery. In that scenario, the cardiac surgeon may recommend a minimally invasive surgical procedure instead. While cardiac surgery is not always necessary to treat heart problems, the surgeon may recommend it for several reasons, including treating or preventing heart attacks, opening blocked or narrowed arteries, addressing irregular heartbeats, repairing congenital heart problems, and treating damaged or diseased heart valves.

When is Cardiac Surgery Needed?

The cardiac surgeon assesses the patient’s health status and the severity of their cardiovascular condition. If one has any of the following conditions, the surgeon may recommend cardiac surgery:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart-valve disease
  • Heart failure
  • Aneurysm
  • Heart arrhythmia
  • Congenital heart defects

In such cases, consulting a heart specialist is a must. One can consult the best cardiac surgeon in Delhi, i.e., Dr. Sujay Shad, to learn more about the conditions that require cardiac surgery and the best treatment approach for the same.

What are the Types of Cardiac Surgeries?

Depending on the patient's health and the surgical goals, different methods for performing cardiac procedures are used.

1. Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) Surgery

CABG procedures are used to correct restricted blood flow in a heart artery. There are many reasons why the arteries in the heart can become narrow, one of which is plaque accumulation. Significant issues, such as heart attacks, may occur when blood cannot flow through the arteries easily. Coronary artery bypass grafting is used to redirect the blood, and during the procedure, a graft vein or artery is taken from healthy blood vessels. The blood flows through the graft vessels, bypasses the blocked vessel, and allows adequate blood flow to the heart muscles. During a CABG, the patient is connected to a heart-lung machine, which allows the surgeon to perform the procedure while the bypass machine takes over for heart and lung function during surgery.

2. Off-Pump CABG Surgery

Off-pump CABG is another form of bypass surgery. Instead of stopping the heart, the surgeon just stabilizes a portion of the heart where the bypass is required while the rest of the heart continues to function properly.

3. Heart-valve Surgery

Heart valve surgery is done to replace or repair damaged heart valves. Valve replacement and repair are the two types of heart valve surgery. Surgeons will utilize the most conservative strategy while still accomplishing the patient's health goals. The surgeon could advise valve replacement if a damaged heart valve cannot be repaired.

4. Aortic Surgery

Aortic surgery involves surgeries involving the aorta, the body's main artery that transports oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Treatment for aortic disorders like aneurysms (weakened and bulging areas in the artery wall) and dissections (tears in the inner layer of the artery) frequently requires aortic surgery.


When Did Cardiac Surgery Become Popular?

Overall, the mid-20th century marked the period when cardiac surgery began to emerge as a viable and more common option for treating various heart conditions. The continuous refinement of techniques, technologies, and surgical approaches has led to increased success rates and the ability to perform surgeries on a broader range of patients. The number of disorders that can be treated with cardiac surgery has increased, and patient outcomes have improved as a result of improvements in medical science, technology, surgical methods, and patient care. The development of cardiac surgery as a specialty area within cardiovascular medicine has been facilitated by these developments, which have also improved collaboration between cardiac surgeons, cardiologists, and other medical specialists.


What to Expect With Cardiac Surgery?

The details of cardiac surgery will vary depending on the type of surgery being performed and the patient's overall health. However, heart surgeries are considered to be complex procedures. One can expect the following from a cardiac surgery:

1. Majority of heart surgeries are done under general anaesthesia so that the patient does not feel pain or remember anything from the surgery.

2. In order to access the heart, the surgeon will create an incision in the chest, cut open the breastbone, and spread out the ribcage. The patient will be put on a heart-lung bypass machine, which will control the heart and breathing throughout the treatment.

3. The patient will be taken off the bypass machine once the heart repair is finished, at which point the heart and lungs will start working normally again. The chest incision will be closed after the breastbone has been reconnected.

What are the Complications Associated With Cardiac Surgery?

Cardiac surgery is a complex procedure with some risk. If one has additional problems such as BP, diabetes, obesity, etc., one could be at increased risk of surgical complications. Surgery risks include the following:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Damage to the heart
  • Development of arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)
  • Stroke

How is Recovery From Cardiac Surgery?

Most patients stay in an intensive care unit (ICU) before moving to a regular hospital room, where they stay for a few days. Every patient's situation is different, so it is vital to discuss the recovery expectations with the surgeon. It might require 1-3 months or even longer before one is ready to resume their normal activities. The heart surgeon might recommend cardiac rehabilitation, an exercise program that helps in recovery and regaining strength.


Cardiac surgery is a complex procedure that requires the hands-on experience of an expert surgeon. One can consult experts like Dr. Sujay Shad, a top cardiac surgeon in Delhi who can assess the patient's condition and determine if cardiac surgery is right for them. 

To learn more about cardiac surgery, schedule an appointment with Dr. Sujad Shad at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital today. He is known for performing life-saving heart surgeries such as HOCM, heart transplant, bypass surgery, aortic surgery, and many more at the famous hospital. Visit the expert heart specialist today!