Reoperative Cardiac Surgery: Part I – Preoperative Planning
While reoperative cardiac surgery has become safer in recent years, it is still more difficult and dangerous than a primary operation. In a recent review of the Cleveland Clinic’s experience, 7% of the patients undergoing cardiac reoperations had major intraoperative adverse events (IAEs). In that report, if an IAE occurred, there was a 5% mortality and a 19% incidence of myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, or death [Roselli 2011]. Those are sobering statistics, particularly when reported by one of the busiest cardiac surgical services in the world. The take-home message is that reoperative cardiac surgery is riskier than primary cardiac operations and that there are strategies that should be employed at each juncture to lower the risks of a reoperation.
However, many of these strategies and recommendations have been more implicit than explicit. In fact, surprisingly little has been written about reoperative cardiac surgery. Thus, it seems appropriate to collect some of the lessons, adages, tricks, and tools that might make reoperations a click safer.
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