Due to the fact that coronary surgery is a relatively dangerous procedure, it is normally only carried out under specific circumstances. The most obvious instance is when one experiences a heart attack due to the blockage of an artery or valve within the heart. This is considered emergency surgery and may save the life of the victim.
In other instances cardiac surgery may be an emergency preventative measure. For example, those who suffer from heart disease may require a procedure known as an angioplasty (the widening of the arteries of the heart) or bypass surgery (the bypassing of a valve that has become blocked with plaque). Other circumstances such as a mitral valve prolapse (when blood does not flow properly to and from the heart due to a defective valve) may require an operation and under certain situations a complete valve replacement. The severity of these heart problems and the chances of a future heart attack will dictate whether or not these procedures are necessary.
Reasons for cardiovascular surgery:
- In the event of a cardiac arrest.
- To unblock a severely clogged artery that would be found with cardiovascular disease.
- To bypass a valve that no longer functions.
- To completely replace a defective valve.
Emergency Symptoms That May Signal A Problem
There are a number of warning signs that signify one is suffering from an acute and potentially dangerous problem with their heart. Most heart attacks will exhibit moderate to severe pain that originates from the chest area. This pain tends to be focused on the left side and can radiate up the jaw line, around to the back of the neck and down the left arm, possibly accompanied by a tingling sensation or numbness.
Shortness of breath can be a standalone symptom or it can accompany the chest pain. This shortness can occur either while laying down or performing even the most moderate of activities.
One of the other common symptoms is if one breaks out in a cold sweat while feeling dizzy or light-headed for no particular reason. This may also be accompanied by nausea or a feeling of impending doom.
It is important to note that not all heart attacks occur suddenly and without warning. There are instances where these symptoms can be present for days or even weeks before the actual attack. Thus, it is important to note any such changes as they occur and not discount them simply because they have lasted for some time.
Main indicators that a heart attack may be imminent or occurring are:
- Chest pain or discomfort.
- Pain that radiates from the chest to the neck or the arm.
- Numbness or tingling of the extremities.
- A cold sweat accompanied by a shortness of breath or nausea.