Bypass surgery is a surgical operation that is performed on the heart to remove or replace any arteries in the heart that have been damaged. In this operation, the surgeon removes the damaged arteries and uses blood vessels from other parts of the body to compensate for them. It is basically an open heart surgery which is done if there are any blockages in the artery that cannot be removed using medication. It is important to remove such blockages as they mean that enough blood is not being pumped into the heart that might result in a heart attack or a heart failure.
Since a heart bypass surgery is an open heart surgery, there might be complications that may arise during or after the procedure. Such complications or risk factors may include:
- Bleeding– Since the procedure includes removing arteries and attaching other blood vessels to the site, patients may experience bleeding from the site where the blood vessels have been attached or the patients might require blood transfusions after the open heart surgery has been done.
- Arrhythmia– Problems with rhythmic beating of the heart is a common complication in cases of bypass surgeries. It can also lead to the development of blood clots in the heart which can move to different parts of the body.
- Chest pain– Chest pains are quite common following the surgical procedure as the heart may take time to adjust to the changes that are done. If you are facing such difficulties, you should immediately consult the doctor who has performed the operation.
- Development of infection at the site – This is a very rare complication which occurs in only about 1 or 2 % of the patients undergoing the procedure. It mainly occurs if the surgical tools are not properly sterilized or the wound has not been stitched properly, making it vulnerable to microbial infections.
- Problems with the kidney– A bypass surgery can result in a temporary kidney failure or dysfunctions in the kidney, particularly if the procedure has affected the aorta or veins that receive blood from the heart.
- Post-pericardiotomy syndrome– It is an inflammation of the pericardium or the lining that surrounds the heart. It is also one of the most common risk factors associated with a coronary bypass surgery. The common symptoms might include recurring low-temperature fevers or a mild or severe chest pain.
- Loss of memory or difficulty thinking– There have been differences on how the loss of memory or facing difficulty in thinking can be associated with a coronary bypass surgery. Some tend to believe that the surgical procedure tends to damage or disturb the tissue lining of the artery that carries blood to the brain. This is basically a temporary problem and tends to subside after around 5-6 months.
- Death– It is quite rare for the patient to die on the operation table during the operation. However, deaths have been reported during the bypass surgery mainly due to a heart attack or a stroke.
These are some of the complications or the risk factors that are associated with a coronary bypass surgery. Thus if you are facing such difficulties like chest pain or recurrent fevers after undergoing a bypass surgery, it is very important to seek medical attention or consult your doctor at the earliest to prevent any further complications or any other heart diseases.