Frequently Asked Questions

Dr. Dhiren Shah will help you get familiar with certain procures and names that are very popularly talked about today in the field of cardiac surgeries. They are also options on how you could undergo your surgical cardiac procedure.

Cardiac Surgery Questions

Difference between Off Pump and On Pump

Another technique with advantage of lesser patient harm is known as off-pump CAB (OPCAB) as it doesn’t utilize any pump. It doesn’t require heart lung machine. The surgery is performed on beating heart that’s why it is called as “beating heart surgery” – a highly precise, complex and skill demanding procedure. We are proud that our cardiothoracic surgery team has exceptionally excelled in this technique and has shown continued commitment towards patient safety.

It is also known as Open Heart Surgery. Heart’s and lung’s functions are replaced with a machine known as “Heart-Lung Machine”. The process of such replacement of function is known as extracorporeal (outside the body) membrane oxygenation (ECMO). The operator/technician responsible for handling and use of the equipment is known as perfusionist.

The heart-lung machine is made up of majorly three parts: a pump (either non-occlusive or occlusive roller pump), a blood oxygenator, and a blood warming device. Through plastic tubing, connection of these three parts with anatomical heart is made. Deoxygenated blood is pumped to oxygenator to remove carbon dioxide from blood. Oxygenated blood is thereafter pumped to respective artery/vein of the body.

What is ECMO

Special tubes called cannulas are put into the blood vessels that go directly into your child’s heart or bloodstream. Your child’s doctor chooses the size of the tubes based on his or her size, age, weight and the reason why ECMO is being used. The cannulas transfer the blood from the child’s heart by using a pump to push the blood through tubes to the machine where the blood receives oxygen and the carbon dioxide is removed. Next the blood is warmed to body temperature. Finally, the warm blood goes through another cannula back your child’s body.


What is TAVR

This minimally invasive surgical procedure repairs the valve without removing the old, damaged valve. Instead, it adds in between a replacement valve into the aortic valve’s place. The surgery may be called a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) or transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI).

What is Heart Transplant
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What is CABG

CABG is a surgical procedure in which one or more blocked coronary arteries are bypassed by a blood vessel graft to restore normal blood flow to the heart. These grafts usually come from the patient’s own arteries and veins located in the chest (thoracic), leg (saphenous) or arm (radial). The graft goes around the blocked artery (or arteries) to create new pathways for oxygen-rich blood to flow to the heart.  Learn More


What is Heart Lung Machine

During surgery, the heart-lung bypass machine (called “on-pump” surgery) is used to take over for the heart and lungs, allowing the circulation of blood throughout the rest of the body. The heart’s beating is stopped so the surgeon can perform the bypass procedure on a “still” heart.

What is Minimally Invasive Technique

Minimally invasive coronary artery bypass (MIDCAB) surgery is an option for some patients who require a left internal mammary artery (LIMA) bypass graft to the left anterior descending (LAD) artery

Other Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Common age for heart disease
    • Heart diseases often becomes common with old age, this is because the heart muscles as we age becomes weak and are unable to work efficiently.
    • Apart from congenital heart diseases, heart diseases can be even seen in younger age groups due to sedentary lifestyle, infections (causing rheumatic heart disease) and family history of heart diseases.
  2. Does all heart diseases require surgery?
    • Heart diseases can be prevented using medications but, depending on the severity of the disease and time of diagnosis, surgery is required.
  3. Food that affects cholesterol level.
    • Our body requires food rich in good cholesterol for synthesis of cell and other substances. It may include almonds, egg whites, white meat etc.
    • One should avoid intake of bad cholesterol in the form of fatty and deep fried food.
    • Fruits and vegetables are free from cholesterol and can be consumed with any meal of the day.
  4. Can heart disease be cured?
    • Heart diseases can be prevented with the help of medications and surgery but 100% cure rate is not assured.
  5. What diseases can lead to heart disease?
    • Some common conditions like high blood pressure, thyroid, obesity, increased cholesterol level are the main cause of heart diseases.
  6. Is it possible to live a normal life after heart surgery?
    • Yes, one can return to his/ her normal life after heart surgery after a certain period of time after consulting their surgeon.
  7. Can heart attack cause death?
    • Not all heart attacks lead to death. The first heart attack is mostly a sign to get treatment and change lifestyle.
    • However, second heart attack depending on the severity of the diseased heart may cause death.
  8. Can heart disease be prevented?
    • Heart diseases can be prevented in terms of medications, surgery and activity modifications.
  9. Can heart disease cause disability?
    • Disability from heart diseases depends on the severity of heart disease.
  10. How can we avoid heart problems?
    • Following heart healthy diet
      • Eat more fruits and vegetables
      • Avoid deep fried and oily food
      • Use groundnut, canola oil for cooking and dressing, in a limited quantity
    • Exercising
      • Exercising regularly reduces the chance of heart diseases.
    • Regular check-ups
      • If there is any family history of heart disease, one should get their check ups done regularly.
      • Person having high cholesterol/ blood pressure/ thyroid or obesity should also get their check-up done regularly.


Best Heart Surgeon in Gujarat

Dr. Dhiren Shah over 10,000  adult cardiac surgeries to his name, and has over a hundred pediatric cardiac surgies performed. He has completed nearly 500 minimally cardiac surgeries and a dozen Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacements, also known as TAVR and nearly two dozen Extracorporal Membrane Oxygenation cases which are popularly known as ECMO. He has completed 9 heart transplant surgeries in total as of July 2019, and was the first heart transplant surgeon in Ahmedabad to complete a successful heart transplant in Gujarat.