Removal from Bypass Machine and Finishing the Surgery

Being Removed From the Bypass Machine

After the aorta has been closed with stitches and your heart regains strength, you will slowly be removed from the heart-lung bypass machine. You will be completely free of the machine when your heart resumes its normal function and can support your body with its own pumping ability. Because everyone's heart is different, the time it takes to be removed from the bypass machine varies.
If your heart is slow to return to its normal function during the surgery, several options are available to help it regain strength. These include medication administered through your IV, or electrical stimulation from small thin wires called "pacing wires" to help your heart beat normally -- until your own heart's electrical system has recovered.
These wires are placed directly onto the surface of your heart and will be left inside your chest during your hospital recovery. Usually these are temporary, and should be removed prior to your going home; however, in some patients, the wires may need to be replaced by a permanent pacemaker.

Finishing Aortic Valve Replacement Surgery

To finish the surgery for aortic valve replacement, several chest tubes will also be placed inside your chest to collect any fluid that drains into the spaces around your heart and lungs. These help to ensure that your lungs and heart are working properly.
Lastly, your breastbone is brought back together with thick steel wire. This helps your breastbone to heal and prevents movement as you become active again. Your skin incision is then closed with stitches and a sterile bandage is applied.
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About Aortic Valve Replacement

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