According to records 8-10 infants per 1000 suffer from congenital heart disease. Heart surgery in kids are performed to rectify the heart problems the child has inborn with. Heart problems may differ in every child; some might be minor problems for which a child may be able to wait for months or years for the surgery while some major problems might require immediate heart surgery. It is possible that defects might occur inside the heart or in the large blood vessels outside the heart. A single surgery might be enough to rectify the heart defect, but many a times a series of procedures are required.
Many conditions which require a surgery can be dealt with by fairly simple methods. Others can only be done using the heart-lung bypass machine which is known as the ‘open heart’ surgery. The machine will take over the work of the patient’s heart and lungs while the surgeon operates inside the heart itself. This type of surgery involves different risks which is not necessarily high than that as in the case of other type of heart surgeries. Particular problems relating to individual cases will be discussed with parents when surgery is being considered for their child.
There might be complications from heart surgery, but nowadays, with improved technology in surgical procedures the risk of complications is continually being reduced. Complications mainly depend on the type of surgery being performed and it completely varies for every child according to the problems that will require surgery. Risk of complication in heart surgery procedures are very low, specifically death risks or serious complications are less than 3%. In most of the cases, children who undergo heart surgeries keep well. They might have to spend a few days in hospital but can get back to their regular activities in some time.
However, some of the possible complications of heart surgery are noted below:
Remember, these are some of the possible risks of a Heart surgery in children and this can vary according to the type of surgery performed. Your surgeon will discuss all the complications related with the type of surgery being performed for your child right in advance before the surgery.
After the surgery, most of the children who have a closed heart surgery will have to stay in the hospital for few days. Children who undergo an open heart surgery might require to stay in the intensive care unit for 2 to 4 days and will have to stay in the hospital (after out from the ICU) for another 5 to 7 days. Parents and care takers will be taught on what all activities your child can involve in after leaving the hospital. Your child will require few more weeks of rest at home and might not be allowed to involve in certain activities that might strain the heart. Your doctor will guide you on what all activities can your child involve in and what not to. The outcome of heart surgery depends on the type of surgery undergone, the child’s condition and also the seriousness of the defect. However, it is seen that most of the children recover completely and lead a happy, normal and active life.
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