Hello! New member here with a question. Probably lots of questions. I am scheduled to meet with a surgeon next week for bypass. I have been doing some research and stumbled across minimally invasive CABG. Has anyone had this type of bypass surgery? If so, how did they determine if you were a candidate?
Thanks for any and all info! I am really nervous about this.
Welcome to Mended Hearts, Melanie. I had emergency quintuple bypass traditional CABG surgery nearly six years ago following a heart attack. I never even heard of minimally invasive CABG until you mentioned it, so I did a little research.
Apparently, it is just as effective as traditional CABG provided you are eligible to receive it. I'm not a doctor, but from what I've read, I would not have been eligible. From what I can tell, minimally invasive is only an option if you require three or fewer arteries bypassed, not five like me. In addition, you may or may not be ruled out if you have a serious LAD (the widowmaker) blockage, as did I. On the other hand, people who are considered as higher risk patients, such as those with COPD, certain other health conditions or who are considered too old, are more likely to be treated with minimally invasive surgery.
When I had my heart attack and emergency CABG surgery, I was an active, lifetime 67 year old gym rat/weightlifter and former distance runner, without any symptoms if heart disease, although I did have high blood pressure controlled by medication. Six years later, I'm still doing all the same things I always did at the gym, although I'm around 20-25 pounds lighter. In other words, I made a complete recovery.
Notwithstanding that, I would have killed to have had the opportunity to receive minimally invasive CABG instead of a sternotomy.
I definitely recommend speaking to your surgeon to see if you're eligible for a minimally invasive procedure.
Good luck and keep us posted.
My CABG was open. But, either no one at the hospital was doing minimally invasive, or I wasn't a candidate due to 5 bypasses. But, I did hear about minimally invasive CABG in Cardiac Rehab. Sounds like it would reduce recovery time, though.
I get that you're nervous. But, take some comfort in the fact that the doctors are really good at what they do, they do this all the time, and they have amazing technology. After your procedure, do what the doctors order, take your meds, listen to your body, and enjoy your new life.
These are amazing times, and your heart is an amazing organ - it wants to keep beating, and you're giving it an opportunity to keep doing that for you for many years. My father-in-law had 6 bypasses and lived another 30 years. So, take heart...this is a good thing.
All the best!