YOUR HEALTH: Saving Yvelisse with beating heart surgery

Coronary bypass surgery is the most common heart surgery in the United States.
Published: Apr. 25, 2023 at 4:22 AM CDT
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NEW YORK, N.Y. (IVANHOE NEWSWIRE) - Coronary bypass surgery is the most common heart surgery in the United States, with more than 200,000 procedures done every year.

The surgery improves blood flow to the heart by bypassing arteries clogged with plaque.

Now, surgeons are performing the procedure in a specialized way. For many patients, that means the heart keeps beating during the entire procedure.

New York artist Yvelisse Boucher is very familiar with the procedure.

In the year 2022, Boucher was facing some serious health issues. She had Type 2 diabetes, she had a previously undetected stroke that left her weak on one side, she had heart disease, and she learned she needed a triple bypass.

“I was terrified. I was truly, truly terrified,” Boucher recalls.

John Puskas, MD, a Mount Sinai Morningside cardiovascular surgeon, recommended the highly-specialized surgery.

“The no-aortic touch all arterial bypass operation does not use the heart-lung machine at all,” Dr. Puskas explained. “Instead of attaching arteries or veins to the aorta, we actually leave them with their own normal inflow.”

Dr. Puskas removed an artery from Boucher’s wrist to perform the bypass. Surgeons also surgically repositioned two internal arteries to improve blood flow.

The arterial graft and off-pump surgery lead to shorter recovery and better outcomes, according to Dr. Puskas.

Dr. Puskas said the arterial graft no-touch heart bypass is now the preferred way he and his Mount Sinai Morningside colleagues perform coronary bypass.

Studies show there is a 2% risk during traditional coronal bypass surgery. With the arterial graft no-touch technique, surgeons reduce the stroke risk to one-quarter of 1%.

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