Less pain, more gain on ‘new frontier’ of heart surgery


Cardiac surgery is becoming less heart-stoppingly scary thank to new technology.

Cardiologists at Bangkok Hospital Pattaya surveyed this “New Frontier in Cardiac Diseases” Sept. 10 in a lecture series that covered equipment and techniques that make the surgery less invasive, dangerous and expensive as in the past.

Dr. Sujit Banyatpiyaphod discussed “minimally invasive surgery,” introducing the latest technology and equipment for best heart results. With long experience as a surgeon, Sujit himself brought up new conclusions of treating heart disease in a new, safer way.

Dr. Pichit Kangwolkij took the second program, displaying a show booth and demonstrating physical treatment, various new surgical instruments and explanations regarding the improved success percentages for cardiac patients. In the past, heart surgery always had been a major procedure involving risk and pain.

Cardiac disease is one of the illnesses that most people are frightened of, he said. However, the treatment for heart surgery is no longer as complicated as before. With the development of medical and surgical techniques – and an increase in Thai doctors who specialize in the condition – the operation is now simplified and less hazardous. The pain factor also is not a great concern and the surgery takes less time to recover and leaves a much smaller scar.

In the past, the operation involved cutting open the chest, then cutting the ribs to gain access to the heart. Consequently, the surgical incision ran from the pharynx to the xiphoid. After the operation, the patient experienced pain and had to rest about two months until the ribs repaired. Now, with today’s treatment, the wound from the operation is just 4-5 cm long and would only take up about 2-3 weeks to recover.  However, only specialized surgeons using special instrument can perform this type of “mini” surgery, which takes only 1-2 hours, he said.

Other advantages include not needing blood transfusions and ribs do not need to be re-set. Using this newer surgical technology, doctors can now repair aortic valves, and even carry out heart-bypass operations through the small incision. In conclusion, heart disease is no longer the fearful condition that it once was because of these new surgical technical advances.

Bangkok Hospital Pattaya is now a complete cardiology center with 24-hour service for heart checks, diagnosing cardiac disease, treating cardiac disease, cardiac surgery, and prevention.