Heart surgery in children, Pediatric Cardiac Surgery as it is commonly referred to in medical parlance, is a surgical specialty that deals with all the pathological conditions of the heart in children that need surgery.
Heart conditions may be present in a child right from the birth (Congenital Heart Defects) or may be acquired later on. Some surgical corrective measures ought to be done right away.
Open Heart Surgery involves an incision on the breast bone (sternum) in order to access the heart, use of heart lung bypass machine that substitutes for the work of heart and lungs while the surgeon is carrying out the repair on the heart. Since the work of the heart has been taken over by the heart-lung bypass machine, it allows the surgeon to stop the heart during this period of repair. This provides a favorable, still and blood less environment, for the surgeon to work on the heart. The surgery is done under general anesthesia. Once the repair is over, the heart is made to start again, the machine is removed and incision closed.
There is also an entity named Beating heart surgery, in which surgery is carried out while the heart is still beating. Though it is connected through tubes to the heart -lung bypass machine and the heart is emptied of the blood but still beating. It is usualy indicated in surgeries on the right side of the heart and no holes present between right and left side of the heart.
Pediatric Heart Surgery is done under the following conditions:
Correction of heart defects which may be Congenital (right from the birth) or acquired later in life.
Heart Valve incompetency, abnormal blood vessels and abnormal openings or holes in the heart
Any injury to heart
Heart and Lung transplants
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