Open Chest Surgery
During open heart surgery, a surgeon makes one main incision in the chest providing access to the heart. While the surgeon works on the heart, a heart-lung machine circulates blood throughout the body. Because every person responds differently to open heart surgery, recovery times will vary from person to person. In some cases, open heart surgery has been replaced with laparoscopic or robotic surgery. These approaches require much smaller incisions and may decrease pain and risk of infection after the surgery.