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Aortic Surgery

Aortic Surgery: Symptoms, Causes and Risk Factors, Surgery Care, Treatments | National Heart Centre Singapore

Aortic Surgery - What it is

Aortic surgery is surgery performed in relation to the aorta, a major blood vessel which carries oxygenated blood from your heart to the rest of your body.

There are two main types of Aortic Surgery, open surgery and endovascular surgery. Depending on patient suitability, both open or endovascular surgery can be performed for aortic diseases in the chest or abdomen.

Aortic Surgery - Symptoms

Aortic Surgery - How to prevent?

Aortic Surgery - Causes and Risk Factors

While no surgeries are free from risk, aortic surgery has been successfully performed for many years and there have been limited complications. Some minor complications include vomiting, nausea, infections from incisions or allergic skin reactions. However, these complications can be easily treated by doctors.

Other major complications are infection, bleeding, heart attack or stroke. There is also a very slim possibility of loss of life due to the surgery.

Aortic Surgery - Diagnosis

Aortic surgery is essential for mainly for the following conditions:

  • Aortic Aneurysm: An aortic aneurysm is an abnormal bulge that occurs in the wall of the any location in the aorta.

  • Aortic Dissection: This occurs when there is a tear in the wall of the aorta, causing blood to flow between the layers of the wall.

The need for an aortic surgery will be assessed by your doctor, depending if you  have symptoms which indicate that the valve condition is severe. The symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, light-headedness or fainting.

Aortic Surgery - Treatments

​The patient will be given general anaesthesia after entering the operating theatre. An incision will be made down the middle of the chest and the surgeon will begin to examine the heart. The patient’s heart will be connected to a heart-lung bypass machine, which will supply oxygen to the blood and pump it back to the rest of the patient’s body. Next, the aortic surgery will begin. The aorta is opened to reveal the aortic valve. The new artificial valve will be stitched in place after the old valve is removed. After the aorta has been closed with stitches, the patient will slowly be removed from the heart-lung bypass machine when the heart regains strength.

Aortic Surgery - Preparing for surgery

Please follow the below instructions to prepare for your aortic sugery:​

  • Inform your doctor of your current medications as some medicines are unsuitable for consumption before a surgery. 

  • If you are a smoker, please refrain from smoking during this time period.

  • Provide your clinician with a list of your medical history, particularly for allergies.

  • You may need to undergo other medical examinations prior to the surgery. Some examples of the tests include:

  • ECG (electrocardiogram)

    • Blood tests

    • Chest x-ray

    • Urine sample 

Aortic Surgery - Post-surgery care

  • Patients who have undergone an aortic surgery will be warded for a few days or as long as they are needed for observation. An electrocardiogram (ECG) monitor will continuously record the rhythm of the heart.

  • Physical therapy will slowly be introduced, to strengthen the patient with light physical activities.

  • Patients who have duly rested and have stable conditions will be arranged for discharge

  • Follow-up appointments for regular check-ups will also be arranged at the centre

Aortic Surgery - Other Information

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