Second Opinion on General cardiac surgery

Expert opinions and online advice on general cardiac surgery delivered via your computer or mobile device. Second opinion is available wherever there is an internet. All you need is a PC or a smartphone.

Cardiac surgery (more specifically, cardiothoracic surgery) deals with the surgical treatment of diseases of the heart and the nearby vessels. It includes interventions on coronary arteries, heart valves, and large vessels of the chest cavity, as well as surgical correction of congenital and acquired heart defects, and heart transplantation.

Which heart disorders require an operation?

The most common cardiac surgeries are performed to create bypasses for blood flow in case of narrowed or blocked heart vessels, and to reconstruct or replace heart valves. Other typical cardiothoracic procedures include treatment of aneurysms and ruptures of the aorta adjacent to the heart.

More rarely, heart tumors are removed or congenital heart defects are corrected. For arrhythmias, surgical treatment is used if surgery is needed in any case due to a coronary vessel or heart valve condition.

Heart-lung machine procedures

Most cardiac operations can only be performed on a non-beating heart, "switched off" from blood flow. The patient is temporarily connected to a heart-lung machine which supports the body's vital functions. The venous blood is led through tubes to an oxygenator, a kind of artificial lung, which saturates it with oxygen and removes the carbon dioxide. The pump system then returns the fresh blood to the arteries.

Beating heart surgery

Under certain circumstances, cardiac surgeons can work without using the heart-lung machine. In particular, arterial prostheses (shunts) can be installed while a part of the myocardium is immobilized with the help of a special device.

Cardiac surgery without chest opening

In most cases, in order to gain access to the inner parts of the heart and the deep coronary arteries, physicians have to cut the sternum and open up the chest.

However, minimally invasive techniques with minimal incisions are becoming more common, allowing patients to recover more quickly after surgery.

Most common cardiothoracic procedures

One of the most common heart surgery is aorto-coronary bypass (ACB) in its variations:

- minimally invasive direct coronary artery bypass grafting (MIDCAB);

- aortocoronary bypass without heart-lung machine (OPCAB).

The second important area of cardiac surgery is heart valve treatment.

Other procedures include:

- correction of congenital heart defects (e.g., interventricular septal defect);

- operations on the ascending aorta and aortic arch (in case of aneurysm);

- surgical treatment of cardiac rhythm disorders.

What is the service about?

A second opinion on general cardiac surgery issues is a service which makes it possible to get a remote consultation of a qualified specialist, based on available medical summary or study results.

It might be helpful:

• to confirm the existing diagnosis;

• to make sure that the recommended treatment, e.g. a surgery, is correct;

• to obtain information on advanced methods of diagnostics and treatment relating to general cardiac surgery issues;

• to get expert commentary on previously performed exam results;

• to make the right choice if there are two or more possible therapeutic options.

What will the client get?

Diagnostic conclusion, observation and treatment proposals, based on the provided information. In case of the provided initial data incompleteness, will be given recommendations for additional examinations.

What data should be provided to get a second opinion?

Written reports:

  • Medical report (desirable)
  • The results of the examinations, including ECG at rest and under stress, echocardiography, Holter monitoring, pulmonary function examination (desirable)
  • List of medications, along with details of dosage and frequency of use (required)
  • Laboratory test results (desirable)

Radiology data:

  • Heart and coronary vessels CT with angiography (desirable)
  • Heart MRI with provocative testing (desirable)
  • Cardiac catheter examination (required)

What are the second opinion formats and terms?

Written second opinion:

  • Making a report based on the data provided, the consulting specialist summary including a diagnostic report and recommendations for further diagnostic, treatment and observation tactics. Report size: up to 1 page. 

Video consultation:

  • All services of written second opinion. Additionally:, a 10-minute video consultation with a doctor, including a visual patient examination, clarification of symptoms, radiology images consulting, explanation of the proposed treatment tactics, answering patient's questions.

Phone consultation:

  • All services of written second opinion. Additionally: a 10-minute telephone consultation with a doctor, including clarification of symptoms, explanation of the proposed treatment tactics, answering patient's questions.
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