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The coronary or heart bypass is the surgical method to restore blood flow to the heart when the coronary arteries through which blood passes are obstructed due to atherosclerosis. It consists in bypassing the narrowing point of the coronary artery with a bridge made up of arteries or veins taken from other parts of the patient’s body, thus allowing the blood to circulate freely in the heart muscle again.
Cost is probably the most important factor for someone seeking bypass surgery. It is a crucial surgery as the life of the patient depends on it. The average heart bypass surgery cost in India is USD 5,500 or about INR 4,00,000. It is less than a tenth of the price in the USA and a third of what is required in Singapore.
Minimally Invasive heart bypass surgery cost in India would be more at about USD 7,000 or INR 5,04,000. This operation is done through a smaller incision and not completely open heart surgery. The type of hospital and standard of the room was chosen also has a significant effect on the total expenditure. One has to take into account that total hospital stay is about 9 days but in all those coming from abroad need about 20 days in India to meet a surgeon and have required tests done.
Arriving at a foreign country for an urgent surgery can be frightening but medical tourism is well developed in India, and every possible facility will be offered from airport pickup and drop to the arrangement for the hotel stay.
The by-pass is performed when enough blood does not reach the heart, through the coronary arteries, to meet all of its needs and is therefore referred to as ischemic heart disease. This situation manifests itself with chest pains (angina pectoris) under stress or even at rest, or it can start directly with a heart attack. In more rare cases it does not show signs of itself and can only be ascertained through various investigations, in particular, coronary angiography. Since angioplasty was introduced, indications for surgery have been reduced. In cases where drugs and lifestyle fail to keep the disease under control, it is usually tried first to remove the obstruction with angioplasty:
First of all, it is necessary to take from the patient the blood vessels to be used for the bridge which will bypass the obstacle constituted by the obstruction of the coronary artery. The saphenous vein of the leg, the internal mammary artery, which is already inside the thorax, or the radial artery of the arm is usually used. Using the patient’s own structures as “spare parts” avoids the risk of rejection and the formation of smaller vessels will compensate for the absence of the removed vein or artery. To carry out the operation, open the thoracic cavity and reach the heart, where the portions of the blood vessels previously collected elsewhere can be sewn onto the blocked coronaries, upstream and downstream of the block. To do this it is usually necessary to temporarily stop the heart by cooling it; in the meantime, the circulation is maintained by a mechanical pump, also called heart-lung machine, to which the patient is connected.
The bypass is a demanding procedure that must be performed under general anesthesia and generally lasts from 3 to 5 hours. When leaving the operating room, it takes a day or two in an intensive care unit to keep the patient under control. Subsequently, they are moved to another department usually for a few days before discharge. The hospitalization in total does not exceed 8-10 days.
Complete recovery takes 6 to 12 weeks. Everyone has their own times, which will from time to time agree with the treating physician.
The by-pass allows to relieve the pain in the chest of the patient, allowing him to gradually return to work that due to ischemic heart disease he could no longer perform. It, therefore, improves its quality of life and prolongs its survival. However, it does not replace the need for a healthy life or take scrupulously the medicines prescribed by the doctor.