Left ventricular reconstruction surgery is performed to repair a left ventricle that has been damaged during a heart attack. Heart attacks in the left ventricle weaken the tissue wall which forms scar tissue or an aneurysm (a balloon-like bulge of a blood vessel). This causes the heart to work harder overtime and the left ventricle to enlarge.
Left ventricular reconstruction surgery is an open-heart surgery. Before performing the repair, the surgeon will connect the heart to a cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB), a heart-lung machine, which assumes the function of the heart and lungs. To keep the heart still, the heart is stopped or "arrested" so the surgeon can perform the precise surgery on the heart without it beating. The heart-lung machine allows blood to continue circulating in the body while the surgery is performed.
During left ventricular reconstruction surgery, a cardiothoracic surgeon makes a small, precise incision in the left ventricle at the location of the damaged area. The surgeon then uses rows of circular stitches ("purse-string" stitches) to line the area of the unhealthy tissue. The rows of circular stitches are then pulled together and tightened, while another row of stitches closes the ventricle.
Following the surgery, cardiac rehabilitation is provided in stages to help reduce risk for future heart problems and to make the recovery process quick.
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