Heart diseases are broadly known as Cardiovascular Disease which is further classified into Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), Valvular Heart Disease, Congenital Heart Disease and Rheumatic Heart Disease.
Different heart diseases require different surgical procedures. Let’s take look at the most common surgical procedures for heart diseases and their cost in India:
Angioplasty is a surgical procedure which is performed to widen the narrowed or obstructed arteries or veins to clean the accumulation of white blood corpuscles in the arteries.
While performing the surgery the doctor passes an empty balloon, commonly called balloon catheter, over a wire into the narrowed location and then swells it to a fixed size. The force exerted by the inflated balloon on the stenosis inside the vessel and the muscular wall, broadens the blood vessel again for improved flow. The balloon is then deflated and taken out. Depending on the condition of the patient, a stent may or may not be introduced at the time of ballooning.
When is an angioplasty performed?
An angioplasty is performed when the patient is having a coronary artery disease, more specifically, narrowing of the arteries due to the accumulation of fat, cholesterol, calcium or atherosclerosis.
The cost of angioplasty starts from USD 5,000 in India, if it includes a single stent. For more than one stent an additional USD 2,000 is charged.
In hospital: approximately 2 days
In India: approximately 1 week
The arteries that bring blood to the heart can get clogged at times with plaque (an accumulation of cholesterol, fat and other substances) that prevents the blood to flow smoothly. Coronary artery bypass surgery or simply CABG is a surgical procedure that is used to bypass blood through those clogged arteries to improve the flow of blood and oxygen in the heart.
CABG is performed in two ways: the “off-pump” and the “on-pump”.
In “off-pump” the surgery is performed on a beating heart whereas in “on-pump” the surgery is performed with the heart stopped. Arteries and veins from the other parts of the body are sewn to one of the coronary arteries and the other end is attached to the aorta (the largest artery in the body) to bypass the clogged arteries.
When is CABG performed?
A CABG is performed on patients suffering from coronary artery diseases.
The cost of CABG or bypass surgery starts from USD 4400 in India.
In hospital: Approximately a week in the hospital
In India: Around 2-3 weeks in India
Heart Valve Replacement
Heart valve replacement surgery is the replacement of one or more heart valves. It can be replaced with either an artificial heart valve or a bioprosthesis, an alternative for valve repair.
The valves are replaced either with a mechanical or a bioprosthetic valve. An open heart surgery is performed to replace the damaged valves. There are four procedures included in the heart valve replacement:
- Aortic Valve Replacement
- Mitral Valve Replacement
- Tricuspid Valve Replacement
- Pulmonary Valve Replacement
When is a valve replacement performed?
A valve replacement is performed when any of the four major valves of the heart (aortic, mitral, tricuspid and pulmonary) are damaged, that is, if there is a narrowing of the valve (valve stenosis) or if the valve is unable to close properly (valve incompetence or regurgitation or a leaky valve).
The cost of a valve replacement starts from USD 6,500 in India.
In hospital: Around 10 days
In India: 2-3 weeks in India
CAG or Coronary Angiography is an X-Ray test used to see the flow of blood through your heart. CAG is performed to locate if there are any blockage in the coronary arteries, how many arteries have been blocked, where are the blockages and the severity of it.
A CAG lasts for 30-60 minutes in which the patient is treated under local anesthesia. A catheter is inserted through the groin or the arm of the patient and is placed in the heart through the artery. After placing it, the cardiologist injects a special dye into the bloodstream of the patient that makes the coronary arteries visible in the X-Ray. The x-ray images are then observed to see how the dye moves through the arteries so as to locate the blockages. The catheter is removed after completion of the test.
When is a CAG performed?
If the patient is going through the following diseases, a CAG is performed:
- Heart Attack
- Heart block
- Heart Failure
The cost of a CAG surgery in India starts from USD 350 and may go up till USD 500.
In hospital: 1 day in the hospital.
In India: It depends on the doctor’s diagnosis.
AICD or Automatic Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator is a device that is used to monitor and regulate the irregular heartbeat of the patient. It can speed up or slow down the heart depending upon the heart rate.
Before performing the AICD implantation, the doctor performs an Electrophysiological study to see whether an AICD is necessary or the treatment can be done with proper medication. The implantation surgery is performed both under local and general anesthesia. The patient will be under constant sedation. To prevent movement during the AICD test, his arms are loosely strapped.
After making an incision in the chest, below the collarbone, a wire will be inserted in the heart through a vein. After creating a pocket in his chest, the doctor will insert the AICD (connected to the wires) inside his heart.
He will create an arrhythmia to test the functioning of the device that is necessary for the treatment. Later on it will be again tested with the help of a computer known as “programmer”. This test procedure is known as “non-invasive programmed stimulation” or “pre-disharge testing”.
When is AICD implantation surgery performed?
When the patient has irregular heart beat or arrhythmia, then AICD implantation surgery is performed.
The cost of an AICD implantation surgery starts from USD 6500 in India.
In hospital: 2-3 weeks approximately
In India: approximately 1 month
The surgeon will make an incision down to the chest from just below the Adam’s apple. The breastbone is cut in half and spread apart. To pump the blood through the body the surgeon put tubes into the patient’s chest by a heart-lung machine, cardiopulmonary bypass.
After the blood has been completely pumped to the bypass machine, the diseased heart of the patient is removed. The donor heart is then sewn into place and blood vessels are connected carefully to prevent leaks.
Blood circulating through the bypass machine is allowed to flow back into the heart while the tubes connected to the machine are removed. The heartbeat is revived by mild shocks. The healthcare team, thereafter, keeps it under surveillance to see its functionality and to make sure there are no further leaks.
When is a heart transplant performed?
A heart transplant is performed when the patient experiences an end stage heart failure.
A heart transplant surgery cost starts from USD 50,000 in India.
In hospital: approximately 1-2 months
In India: approximately 3-4 months