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  • Writer's pictureDr Woo JW

Surgeries & Procedures

Updated: Mar 6

Surgical Solutions For Heart Care

A doctor and two nurses in blue scrubs surrounding a patient undergoing surgery

Let’s explore the fascinating world of cardiac procedures and surgeries. These medical interventions are like intricate symphonies, orchestrated by skilled hands to restore health and harmony.

1. Coronary Angiogram and Angioplasty

  • Coronary Angiogram: Imagine a tiny camera exploring the intricate highways of your heart. During a coronary angiogram, a catheter is threaded through your blood vessels to your coronary arteries. A special dye is injected, revealing any blockages or narrowing. It’s like creating a detailed map of your heart’s terrain.

  • Angioplasty (Percutaneous Coronary Interventions): When a coronary artery is partially blocked, an inflated balloon is used to widen it. This procedure restores blood flow, alleviates chest pain (angina), and enhances physical activity. Sometimes, a stent (a mesh-like tube) is implanted to keep the artery open, preventing future blockages.

2. Minimally Invasive Cardiac Procedures

  • Minimally Invasive Bypass Surgery: Bypass surgery is a lifeline for patients with clogged coronary arteries. When medications, ballooning, or stenting fall short, this procedure redirects blood flow around the blockage. Imagine a skilled artisan taking a healthy blood vessel from your leg, arm, or chest. They meticulously connect it below and above the blocked section, creating an alternative pathway for blood to flow. The magic lies in the precision of keyhole surgery, minimizing trauma and maximizing results.

  • Minimally Invasive Mitral Valve Surgery: Nestled in the left heart chamber, the mitral valve orchestrates blood flow. When it leaks or becomes blocked, chaos ensues—high lung pressure, irregular heart rhythms (atrial fibrillation), and discomfort. Picture a virtuoso surgeon accessing the mitral valve through a tiny incision. With delicate hands, they repair the valve, restoring harmony to the heart’s symphony.

  • Minimally Invasive Aortic Valve Surgery: The Aortic Valve, this gatekeeper propels blood into the aorta—the highway leaving the heart. Over time, wear and tear can lead to aortic valve stenosis (narrowing) or leakage. Through a minimally invasive chest incision, surgeons replace the aortic valve. It’s like swapping out worn-out gear, ensuring smooth circulation.

  • Minimally Invasive Tricuspid Valve Surgery: On the right side of the heart, this valve prevents blood from flowing backwards. When it leaks, serious symptoms and heart failure can follow. Imagine a delicate stitch closing a tiny leak. Minimally invasive tricuspid valve surgery restores order, allowing blood to flow in the right direction.

  • Minimally Invasive Closure of Atrial Septal Defects: It’s the heart’s dividing wall between the left and right sides. Some are born with congenital heart defects—a hole between the atria. Pressure imbalances ensue. With keyhole precision, surgeons close the gap. It’s like patching a celestial quilt, ensuring a seamless flow of life.

  • Minimally Invasive Arrhythmia Surgery (Atrial Ablation): A technique called ablation is used to induce heat to burn and scar the inside of the heart. This helps in breaking up some of the electrical signals that cause irregular heartbeats. Today, many minimally invasive valve procedures can be done via the groin. These include:

  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement: Procedure to replace a diseased valve with a man-made valve. 

  • Mitral clip: To treat mitral valve replacement.

  • Percutaneous transvenous mitral commissurotomy (PTMC): To treat mitral valve stenosis.

3. Electrophysiological Procedures

  • Experience the precision of an electrophysiological (EP) procedure, a pivotal step in unravelling the mysteries of your heart's rhythm. This dynamic assessment delves deep into your heart's electrical activity, illuminating any irregularities such as arrhythmia. Picture this: electrodes delicately placed on your chest, seamlessly connecting to monitoring equipment, while your blood pressure is carefully observed. Then, with expert precision, a catheter is gently introduced into your heart's blood vessels, guided either through your groin or neck. Wire electrodes, like tiny explorers, venture forth to capture every electrical impulse. All the while, your heart's inner workings dance across the screen, revealing insights into its intricate rhythms. But that's not all. Medications may be administered to induce arrhythmia, allowing our skilled team to diagnose and treat with unparalleled accuracy.

4. Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) insertion

  • An implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) is a sophisticated device, delicately placed to detect and swiftly correct any irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia. With unwavering precision, it continuously monitors your heart's rhythm, ready to deliver life-saving electric pulses whenever needed. But that's not all – there are two distinct types of ICDs: In the skilled hands of our surgeons, wires are delicately guided into your veins, seamlessly connecting to your heart's vital pathways. The shock generator, a beacon of hope, finds its home beneath your collarbone, ready to spring into action at a moment's notice. In just a few hours, this transformative procedure unfolds, ushering in a new era of heart health. And once implanted, your ICD undergoes meticulous testing and programming, tailored to your unique needs, ensuring it stands ready to safeguard your heartbeat with unwavering dedication.

  1. The traditional ICD, a marvel of modern medicine, is implanted into your chest through a meticulous surgical procedure, forging a direct connection to your heart.

  2. The innovative subcutaneous ICD is discreetly nestled beneath your skin, with an electrode tracing along your breastbone, offering protection without intruding upon your heart.

5. Pacemaker Insertion

  • When issues arise with the heart's electrical conduction system, a pacemaker emerges as a beacon of hope. With meticulous care, it signals the heart to beat at the right tempo, ensuring a smooth and steady heartbeat Under the gentle cloak of local anaesthetic, the procedure unfolds. A catheter glides into place, ushering in the lead wire through the blood vessel. Depending on the unique needs of the individual, one, two, or even three lead wires may find their path. With precision akin to an artist's brushstroke, the pacemaker generator finds its home below the collarbone, completing the symphony of restoration. But our vigilance doesn't end there. An electrocardiogram (ECG) stands sentinel, observing every beat, ensuring the pacemaker dances in perfect synchrony with the heart's rhythm. It's a ballet of science and care, choreographed for your heart's well-being. At Sunrise Heart Specialist Clinic, Dr. Woo and his team are dedicated to keeping your heart healthy. With years of experience and a passion for heart health, we provide top-notch care tailored to your needs. Book an appointment today and take the first step towards a healthier heart. Your heart doesn’t rest, and neither do we.

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