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Glossary of common abbreviations used for the type of surgery in the waiting-list .


This defect is characterized by incomplete closure between the two upper chambers of the heart. Blood can therefore flow through a hole (defect) in the wall (septum) between the upper chambers of the heart (atria) from one side to the other, causing some heart chambers to have to pump extra blood. The heart can dilate, the muscle can become weak, and the pressures in the pulmonary arteries can increase (pulmonary hypertension) due to the increase in blood flow. If the defect closes on its own or with the aid of surgery, these consequences can be avoided. This is a congenital [by birth] defect.


Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, sometimes just called bypass, is a procedure that enables a blocked area of the coronary artery to be bypassed so that blood flow is not hindered. In essence, CABG surgery restores blood flow to heart tissue that has been deprived of blood because of coronary artery disease. During bypass surgery, a healthy artery or vein is taken from the leg, arm, or chest and transferred to the outside of the heart. The new healthy artery or vein then carries the oxygenated blood around the blockage in the coronary artery. CABG surgery is usually performed in people with a blocked left main coronary artery, disease in several vessels (arteries or veins), poor function in the heart's main pumping chamber (the lower chamber or left ventricle), and debilitating chest pain (also called angina). The CABG surgery is done to relieve symptoms of coronary artery disease, alleviate ischemia (lack of blood to the heart muscle), reduce the possibility of more heart problems, and to prolong life.


The mitral valve is a bi-cuspid valve - one with two leaflets - situated between the left atrium and left ventricle. It's constant exposure to the high stress to which the left sided heart structures are subject causes a greater incidence of disease than other valves. Stenosis - or narrowing - of the mitral valve causes a block of the smooth flow of blood from the left atrium into the left ventricle, and an ensuing build-up of blood in the lungs, resulting in symptoms of the disease. While medical treatment using drugs is helpful in relieving symptoms of mitral stenosis, definitive cure can only be provided by widening the orifice of the mitral valve which is narrowed in this disease. The procedure of widening the mitral valve , without opening the heart , is called closed mitral valvotomy, while widening of mitral valve opening the heart is called open mitral valvotomy.




Mitral valve replacement is an open heart procedure performed by surgeons to treat stenosis (narrowing) or regurgitation (leakage) of the mitral valve. The mitral valve is the "inflow valve" for the left side of the heart. Blood flows from the lungs, where it picks up oxygen, and into the heart through the mitral valve. When it opens, the mitral valve allows blood to flow into the heart's main pumping chamber called the left ventricle. It then closes to keep blood from leaking back into the lungs when the ventricle contracts (squeezes) to push blood out to the body. It has two flaps, or leaflets. When the mitral valve is not functioning properly , it requires to be repaired or replaced. Generally this is not a congenital [by birth] defect.


The ductus arteriosus is a normal fetal structure,allowing blood to bypass circulation to the lungs. Since the fetus does not use his/her lungs (oxygen is provided through the mother's placenta), flow from the right ventricle needs an outlet. The ductus provides this, shunting flow from the left pulmonary artery to the aorta just beyond the origin of the artery to the left subclavian artery. The high levels of oxygen which it is exposed to after birth causes it to close in most cases within 24
hours. When it doesn't close, it is termed a Patent Ductus Arteriosus and needs to be closed by surgery.


This defect is very similar to atrial septal defects. In this case, the hole or "defect" is in the heart muscle forming a wall between the ventricles (the intraventricular "septum"). As in the case of the ASD, the heart can dilate, the muscle can become weak, and the pressures in the pulmonary
arteries can increase (pulmonary hypertension) due to the increase in blood flow. If the defect is closed, these consequences can be avoided. This is a congenital [by birth] defect.


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