The Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery

The Department of Surgery aims towards providing patients and their families with best possible comprehensive and compassionate care through outstanding surgical results. This department advances in experimental and clinical research and teaching with dedication of excellence in patient care comprised of three consultant surgeons and a team of fellows and resident medical officers.

Shaping the Future of the Heart

With spearheading innovative research and advancing new and less invasive surgical techniques, our skilled surgeons have been helping patients to shape the future of their hearts and great vessels surgeries successfully. The Cardiothoracic faculty performs over 1000 open heart surgeries a year with about 100 cases performed every month.

In addition to on and off pump Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery, cases of complications of myocardial infarction like ventricular septal rupture and repair of LV aneurysms are being routinely done with outcomes that are comparable to international standards. Our surgeons undertake some of the most complex and challenging cases, such as:

  • Combined Coronary Artery Bypass
  • Valve Repair/Replacement
  • Redo Coronary and Valve Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery

Minimally invasive heart surgery (also called keyhole surgery) is when a conventional operation is performed on or inside the heart using small incisions. The surgeon also sometimes uses specialized instruments.

Who Is a Candidate for Minimally Invasive?

There are many ways to reach the heart for surgery. Your surgical team will carefully compare the advantages and disadvantages of minimally invasive techniques with those of traditional surgery techniques. Your surgeon will decide the best approach for you based on several factors, including the type or heart disease you have and how severe it is; your age, medical history and lifestyle; and results of tests done before surgery.

Benefits of Minimally Invasive Surgical Techniques

The benefits of minimally invasive surgery include:

  • Small incisions
  • Small scars
  • Less pain
  • Shorter hospital stay after surgery
  • Lower risk of infection
  • Lower risk of bleeding and blood transfusion
  • Shorter recovery time and faster return to normal activities/work

Traditional Heart Surgery

Traditional heart surgery uses an incision through the middle of your chest, through the breast bone. The incision is about 6 to 8 inches long.

This is the safest and most commonly used incision for patients who need complicated heart surgeries, reoperations, multiple coronary artery bypass procedures or complex aorta procedures.

Types of Minimally Invasive Heart Surgeries

The first surgeries of this type were mitral and aortic valve surgeries. Now, a wide range of procedures can be done using minimally invasive techniques to help make recovery faster and more comfortable.

Sometimes, minimally invasive surgery includes a partial sternotomy. This involves cutting through part of the breast bone. When possible, the surgeon can avoid cutting the breast bone and, instead, make one or more small incisions through the muscles between the ribs. This technique is called a mini-thoracotomy.

In general, it takes about 1 to 4 weeks before you will feel well enough to return to work (if your job doesn’t involve physical activity), resume driving and take part in most non strenuous activities, so long as you have stopped taking pain medications. You can usually get entirely back to your normal routine in 5 to 8 weeks after surgery. It is important to know that everyone has a different recovery and your healthcare team will give you guidelines based on how well you are doing.

Healthy Living

To keep your heart healthy after surgery, it is important to make lifestyle changes and take your medications as prescribed. Heart-healthy lifestyle changes that are important to your recovery include:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Controlling high cholesterol
  • Managing high blood pressure and diabetes
  • Exercising regularly
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Eating a heart-healthy diet
  • Taking part in a cardiac rehabilitation program, as recommended
  • Following up with your doctor for regular visits