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Heart Surgery

Cardiac surgery can correct or manage problems with your heart, reducing difficult symptoms and preventing major problems.

Female with chest pain explains symptoms during a heart surgery consultation
The area of medicine concerned with your heart is cardiology. A heart specialist is known as a cardiologist. They are concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of problems of the heart or blood vessels (your cardiovascular system).

If you need an operation on your heart or the surrounding blood vessels, this is known as cardiac surgery. You might also hear it called cardiovascular surgery, or simply heart surgery.

Not all heart problems mean you need to have surgery. There are lots of non-surgical procedures you can have to manage a wide variety of heart problems. But for some people, heart surgery is the best way to fix their heart problems and prevent further problems (such as heart attack or heart failure) in the future.

If your cardiologist does feel that you will benefit from heart surgery, they will probably refer you to a specialist called a cardiac surgeon (or a cardiothoracic surgeon) who will perform the operation.

The cost of heart surgery will be different for every person. The price of your cardiology treatment depends on the type of heart surgery you have along with other factors, for example how long you stay in hospital, and the reasons you are having cardiac surgery. Call today to speak to our advisors and get a tailored quote.

Our fixed-price packages include the cost of your surgery and all appropriate aftercare appointments. However, any pre-surgery diagnostic tests and your consultant's outpatient appointment consultation fee are charged separately.

Our flexible payment options help you spread the cost of your payment across a time period that suits you. We offer fixed-term monthly payment plans over one to five years with no deposit required. If you decide to pay over 10 months, you will pay interest-free. If you are paying for a longer period, you will pay 14.9% APR.

If you have private health insurance, heart surgery will usually be covered by your provider. Speak to your insurer directly to find out.

Not everyone with a heart problem will need cardiac surgery. There are many instances where heart problems can be treated using non-surgical methods, for example medication or lifestyle changes. Some people may need heart surgery down the line but are not quite at that point yet, so monitoring and managing their symptoms is a better option for now.

Although many heart problems can be successfully managed, it is very important that you do get checked out by a specialist. Your heart is a vital organ that keeps the rest of your body working, and the sooner you speak to someone about your symptoms, the better.

Whether you are looking for a new diagnosis, a second opinion, or help managing a known condition, our consultant cardiologists are ready and waiting to help you take control of your heart health.

Common symptoms of heart problems include:

  • Chest pains
  • High blood pressure
  • Low blood pressure
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations
  • Dizzy spells or fainting
  • Unexplained weakness or fatigue
  • Rapid or irregular pulse
  • Anxiety

Some of the most common heart problems (also known as cardiovascular diseases or cardiovascular disorders) we see at Circle Health Group include:

  • Coronary heart disease (also called coronary artery disease)
  • Heart attack
  • Valve disease
  • Arrhythmias
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Heart failure
  • Vascular disease
  • Angina

This is just a selection of the conditions we most commonly see patients for. If you don't see your heart condition listed, please do get in touch.

There are two main types of heart surgery: open heart surgery and minimally invasive heart surgery (also known as keyhole heart surgery).

Open heart surgery is where your chest is 'opened up' in order for your surgeon to access your heart. They will need to make a large incision (cut) into your chest and move aside your ribs in order to do this.

Minimally invasive surgery is performed using a very small incision. Your surgeon will use tiny, specially designed tools to access your heart, often by travelling through one of your (hollow) arteries.

The type of surgery you have will depend on what your heart problem is, and also on personal factors such as your age and overall fitness. Open heart surgery is a major operation and puts the body under a lot of stress. It is not suitable for everyone.

Some procedures will always need to be done via open surgery, others are usually performed using keyhole surgery. In some cases, one or the other is more suitable depending on the patient. Your cardiologist and cardiac surgeon will let you know all the options as well as explaining which is the best for your individual needs.

Some of the surgical procedures our specialists perform most frequently include:

Heart bypass surgery (coronary artery bypass)

Also known as coronary artery bypass grafting (cabg), this procedure is used to treat narrowed or blocked arteries. It's a major operation performed using open surgery.

Coronary artery bypass surgery is commonly used to treat coronary artery disease and angina.

Coronary angioplasty (and stenting)

If you have narrowed or blocked arteries around your heart muscle, you might be recommended coronary angioplasty. This is a minimally invasive operation to widen your arteries and allow blood to flow more freely. After widening your arteries, often your surgeon will insert a stent, which keeps them open.

You might be recommended an angioplasty if you are suffering with angina.

Pacemaker implantation

A pacemaker is a small device that tracks the electrical signals of your heart and corrects them if it senses a problem in their rhythm for example if your heart is beating too fast or too slow. There are various types of pacemaker; most are implanted under the skin near your collarbone.

ICD implantation

Similarly to a pacemaker, an ICD implant tracks how your heart is functioning and corrects your heartbeat when necessary. The ICD is inserted using a keyhole technique.

Implantable loop recorder

An implantable loop recorder is a small device placed in your chest to monitor your heart health and activity over a long period of time. It works as an electrocardiogram (ECG) and can stay in place for up to three years.

Catheter ablation

Certain types of abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias) can be treated with ablation, which identifies the part of your heart that's causing the disrupted rhythm and destroys it. This causes scar tissue, which in turn acts as a protector against future arrhythmias.

TAVI (transcatheter aortic valve implantation)

A TAVI procedure can correct aortic valve disease, which is when the valve that controls bloodflow from your heart to the rest of your body is not functioning properly. It is done using keyhole surgery and is often recommended to people who can't have open heart surgery.

TMVR (transcatheter mitral valve replacement)

Transcatheter mitral valve replacement (TMVR) is a minimally invasive procedure to replace one of your heart valves. If you can't have open heart surgery but your mitral valve is not working properly, your cardiologist might recommend TMVR.

The first step is usually an initial consultation. Unless your GP or insurer has told you otherwise, you should book your first appointment with one of our cardiology consultants.

You can do this by calling our dedicated team of friendly advisors, or by taking advantage of our easy online booking system.

At Circle Health Group, there are three ways you can pay for treatment. You can use your private health insurance, you can pay for yourself in full, or you can us our flexible payment options to spread the cost.

If you have private medical insurance, speak to your insurer about how to get a referral to one of our hospitals. We work with all major health insurance providers.

If you are paying for your own treatment and would like to spread the cost to make it more affordable, we work with Chrysalis Finance to offer loans that can be paid back over a period of one to five years.

When you choose to go private with Circle Health Group, you can expect:

  • Flexible appointment times to fit your schedule
  • The freedom to choose your hospital and your consultant
  • Bespoke, consultant-led treatment plans tailored to your individual needs
  • Private ensuite rooms as standard
  • Tasty and nutritious meals cooked onsite to your dietary requirements
  • Support from the same compassionate clinical team from beginning to end
  • Affordable, fixed-price packages with aftercare included
  • Flexible payment options to help spread the cost of your care

If you want to know more about cardiology and how we can help you look after your heart, book your appointment online today or call a member of our team directly on 0141 300 5009.

Content reviewed by Circle in-house team in August 2022. Next review due August 2025.

Why Stewart went private for heart surgery

Stewart needed coronary artery bypass surgery after suffering a heart attack.

Find out why he chose to go private with Circle Health Group.

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