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Cardiac surgery 

Cardiac surgery
Chapter:
Cardiac surgery
DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198832447.003.0009
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date: 17 April 2021

This chapter covers the care of patients who require cardiac surgery, from placement on the waiting list to discharge. Although this involves the whole healthcare team, the focus of the chapter will be on the role of the nurse. The most common cardiac surgical procedures in the UK are coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), with >16 000 operations performed each year, and heart valve surgery, with 78 000 heart valve operations each year. Other surgical procedures that nurses may come across include surgery for atrial fibrillation (AF), cardiomyopathy, aortic dissection, aneurysm repair, heart transplantation, and congenital heart defects. The principles of care for some of these operations are similar, so they will be discussed at the same time; where there are differences, these will be clarified. In the UK, CABG has been performed for >50yrs. During this time, some techniques have changed and now minimally invasive surgery and ‘off-pump’ surgery are more common. Changes in techniques for valve repair or replacement have meant that those previously at high risk for open heart valve replacement now have other options open to them.

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