Cardiac Surgery

The different types of surgery we perform are listed here, along with a brief explanation about anaesthesia.

Coronary Artery Surgery

Coronary Artery Bypass surgery aims to bypass blocked arteries around the heart using veins taken mainly from patient’s legs. This process, known as revascularisation, can relieve symptoms such as tightness, choking, heaviness and shortage of breath.

Valvular Surgery

Valve disease is essentially a mechanical problem and responds particularly well to surgery. These can either involve conserving the valve to restore function or, more frequently, replacement of the valve.

Surgery of the Aortic Arch

This procedure is performed on the main artery supplying the body with blood. It is necessary when an aneurysm ‘a bulging’ has developed and there is a potential danger that this will rupture.

Surgery for Lung Cancer

Historically surgery in lung cancer has been reserved for patients in whom there is a high probability of cure. Many patients with lung cancer will have been life time smokers and therefore are likely to also have ischaemic heart disease. Expected outcomes for a particular cancer depend on its cell type, size of the primary tumour, anatomical position and evidence of any spread. For this reason it is appropriate that the probability of cure is discussed on an individual basis with the appropriate consultant.

Oesophageal Surgery

This is performed on the gullet which is the tube that takes food and drink from the mouth to the stomach. Surgery is generally performed for concerns of ruptures. This is considered to be major surgery which will lead to a lengthy stay in the Intensive Care Unit and ultimately discharge from hospital.


As part of the pre-operative assessment the consultant anaesthetist will usually discuss the planned anaesthetic and post-operative pain relief management. For cardiac surgery this will generally include the insertion of monitoring lines, drips and catheters. Intra-thecal injections of opiates are often used, as are intravenous opiates in the post-operative period.
Two major functions in cardiac surgical terms, those of simple post-operative recovery for most patients and true intensive care for a comparative few.