Frequently Asked Questions
What are the risks of cardiac surgery?
Surgical risk varies from patient to patient, depending on the age of the patient and a variety of other factors. Your surgeon will assess your particular state of health, calculate the risks and discuss these with you before the procedure.
On average, the risk of death in the case of the following cardiac procedures are:
- Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG): 1 in 300 or less than 1% for a 1st time CABG procedure.
- Aortic Valve Replacement: 1 in 400.
- Mitral Valve Repair: 1 in 500.
- Aortic Root Replacement: 2 to 3%.
- Aortic Arch Surgery: 5%.
- Type-A Aortic Dissection: 15%.
- Combined Valve and CABG: 2 to 3%.
How surgeons calculate the risk of a particular surgery?
Surgeons use the Eurscore calculator to determine the risk of the specific procedure. They also use their own results as well as departmental records and a degree of peer review and experience to quote an approximate figure. While calculating the risk for a particular surgery is not an objective process, your surgeon will take everything into account before giving an approximate figure.
Can patients calculate Euroscore?
Yes, anyone can calculate the Euroscore of a surgery by visiting the Euroscore website.
When can I drive?
You will be able to drive about 6 weeks after surgery, or once you have been reviewed in clinic.
When can I fly or travel?
Once your recovery has been reviewed in the clinic, and it has been established that you have made satisfactory progress, you will be given the go-ahead to fly or travel long distances. For most patients, this is possible about 4 to 6 weeks after surgery.
When can I go back to work?
If patients have a desk job that does not involve manual labour or heavy weight lifting, they can get back to work in about 4 to 6 weeks following surgery. Any work that involves heavy manual labour lifting or shifting load, should be avoided for at least 12 weeks following surgery.
How long will it take the breastbone to heal?
It generally takes about 12 weeks for the breastbone, also known as the Sternum, to heal and regain its preoperative strength. Patients are therefore advised to avoid making sudden sharp, twisting or bending movements as well as heavy weight lifting for at least 3 months after surgery.